Hazards of logging industry skyline-skidding operations

A new addition to US-American Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA)'s Fatal Facts series demonstrates how critical it is to conduct
inspections on equipment prior to every use, and implement site-specific work
procedures during skyline-skidding operations. This Fatal Facts publication
describes an employer's failure to identify and correct hazardous working
conditions that resulted in a worker's death at a logging operation worksite.
In this instance a worker, on his first day with this employer, used a remote
control to set and lock the carriage on a machine used to hoist logs. The
worker went beneath the carriage to attach the logs when the motor stalled and
the skyline lost tension, causing the 1,200-pound carriage to drop and crush

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment,
free from recognized hazards associated with skyline-skidding operations. To
prevent fatalities involving equipment failure, employers must ensure that each
machine, including excaliners:

  • Gets inspected prior the start of each workshift to ensure it is in serviceable

  • condition.

  • Has operating and maintenance instructions posted on or in the area when the

  • machine is operated and that machine operators and mechanics follow those

  • instructions.

Employers must also implement site-specific safe work procedures for
skyline-skidding operations and train workers on those procedures, including
minimizing time spent standing near the mainline and under the carriage.

Employers should ensure that modifications or additions to a machine that
affect its capacity or safe operation are only made with written approval of
the manufacturer or a qualified engineer.

More info - Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration