Washington FACE: Rigging slinger injured by log rolling downhill from landing

Logging Injury Alert

Industry: Logging

Release Date: March 4, 2016

Task: Cable logging Incident Date: September, 2015
Occupation: Rigging Slinger Case No.:
Type of Incident: crushing SHARP Report No.: 92-20-2015
Photo of tractor.

Incident scene showing the size of the landing and
the angle of the logs where the crew was landing
the logs and unhooking the turns.

In September of 2015, a 22-year-old rigging slinger was hospitalized with injuries to his leg and thigh when a log rolled downhill from a landing and struck him. The rigging slinger had worked in the logging industry for two and a half years. The cable logging crew consisted of a yarder operator, processor operator, loader operator, hooktender, and two rigging slingers. This was their second day on this side. The landing they were using had been designated by the landowner. The distance from the yarder track to the edge of the landing was about 14 feet. The experienced yarder operator was having difficulties keeping the tree-length logs on the landing. Several logs had slid off of the landing, but did not go very far. The yarder operator would land the logs, and then the processor operator would grab the ones that would not stay in place. The rigging crew had been sending logs to this landing for about nine hours when an 80-foot-long hemlock slid off the landing and rolled about 200 feet downhill and struck the rigging slinger. He was hospitalized with severe lacerations to his right hip and thigh.

Safety Requirements

  • Landing areas must be large and level enough to land and deck the logs in the turns so that they will not slide or roll in the direction of employees or equipment. This is not intended to restrict the yarding and/or loading of logs for pole piling or an infrequent long break or tree length, provided the log is secured before unhooking the choker See WAC 296-54-575(1)(b)

Safety Requirements

  • The landing must be planned to minimize the risk of logs leaving it and going downhill. Discuss the organization of the landing with the entire crew beforehand to ensure that everyone’s perspective is heard and the crew’s knowledge is used.
  • Work with the landowner to determine the locations and configurations of landings. Then inspect the landings ahead of time, and resolve any safety issues with the landowner.
  • When the rigging crew is working below a tight landing, ensure that they remain in the clear until all the logs in the turn(s) are secure or removed from the chute.
  • Yarder operators must always use extreme caution landing turns when the rigging crew is working below the landing. Rolling logs or sliding poles can travel a considerable distance downhill.
  • If a tight landing is the only option, buck the timber instead of yarding tree-length logs.


Prepared by Randy Clark and Christina Rappin, WA State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), WA State Dept. of Labor & Industries. The FACE Program is supported in part by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH grant# 2U60OH008487-11).

Washington FACE report logo and Washington Labor and Industries logo


Training roster example: Printout available in PDF

Trainining roster example


Publication #: 92-20-2015| March 4, 2016

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