A 52-year-old male logger was killed when he was struck by a log rolling off of his truck during the unloading process. The victim was a self-employed logger who had at least 25 years of experience. He was using the family-owned truck to haul a load of logs to the mill. The vertical stakes on the flatbed truck were approximately three feet high with the logs stacked another 3-4 feet above the stakes. He arrived at the mill at approximately 9am and began the unloading procedure. One of the chains that secured the load of logs was in two pieces and needed to be unhooked on both sides of the truck. After unhooking the chains on one side of the truck, the victim walked to the other side of the vehicle to unfasten the chain attached on that side when a log fell off of the stack, striking the victim on the back of the head and pinning him on the ground. The endloader driver for the mill was a witness to the incident. The victim was transported to the hospital by emergency medical personnel and pronounced dead at 10:30am. In order to prevent similar occurrences, FACE investigators recommend:
- Height of the stack of logs should not exceed the height of the vertical stakes on the truck
- An unbinding cage should be used at the mill during unloading procedures to protect the logger from falling logs.
- Written policies should be in place regarding unloading procedures for loggers at the mill and the policies should be enforced by mill owners
- Loggers should attend the Master Logger Program for education regarding logging standards and safety procedures
- Lawmakers should consider initiating regulations to limit height of the stack of logs on vehicles using public roadways.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Log Rolls off Truck during Unloading and Strikes Logger" (1995). Fatality Case Reports--Tractors/Logging. 48.