A 56 year-old-male stave edger was killed when he entered the path of a moving log loader at a saw mill. At 4:30 pm the day of the incident, the victim had completed an 8-hour shift in the mill. He walked out of the metal building toward the employee parking area. About 18 feet from the building he was struck by a loader, which was backing up. A witness and the loader driver ran to the victim and helped move him to some nearby logs. The victim was alive and conscious. He removed his ear plugs while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. First aid was administered at the scene by a physician, who was on the premises at the time. The victim was transferred by ambulance to the local hospital and subsequently air-lifted to a major medical center 70 miles away. He lived seven days, then died of acute cardiovascular collapse during surgery. The FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent future fatalities of this type, saw mill owners and operators should:

  • Offer training to include hearing conservation and instructions on the removal of hearing protection devices when leaving the work area.
  • Install the loudest possible back-up audible warning systems available. Employers should also consider installing visible warning devices on the loaders.
  • Employee training should include instructions on the hazards and necessary precautions associated with log loaders.
  • Employers should consider diverting foot traffic away from loader path ways.

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