Washington FACE: Rigging slinger injured when struck by haulback

Logging Injury Alert

Industry: Logging

Release Date: May 25, 2016

Task: Making road change Incident Date: April, 2015
Occupation: Rigging Slinger Case No.:
Type of Incident: struck SHARP Report No.: 92-21-2016
Photo of tractor.

Examples of proper and improper notching.

In April of 2015, a 27-year-old rigging slinger was hospitalized with multiple contusions when he was struck by the haulback during a road change. The rigging slinger was part of a two-man rigging crew at a tower logging site. The timber sale the crew was harvesting was mainly small hemlock and fir. The rigging slinger had worked in the logging industry for six years. He was trying to hook up the skyline during a road change, but was having difficulty fitting the pin into the knockout shackle. He decided that he needed a little slack in the haulback, so he blew the whistle for slack. The haulback was under tension from pulling the skyline out, so that when the line was slacked it whipped starting at the yarder and ending at the corner block stump. This whipping action caused the strap to come off the improperly notched corner block stump. The stump had only a partial notch in the back that was not deep enough to hold the strap in place. The rigging slinger was standing in the bight of the haulback. He was struck by the haulback and flung about 50 feet downhill. He was hospitalized with multiple contusions to his head, neck, chest, back and abdomen. He has not returned to work in the logging industry.

Safety Requirements

  • When there is danger of tail block straps slipping up or off the stump or tree, the stump or tree must be adequately notched or the line properly wrapped and secured. When the tail tree or stump is not secure, it must be tied back. WAC 296-54-54760(4)
  • All persons must be in the clear before any signal is given to move the rigging, logs, or turns. Rigging, logs, or turns must not be moved until after the proper signals have been given. WAC 296-54-601(10)

Safety Requirements

  • Step out of the bight before moving any lines.
  • If at all possible, insert the pin from the opposite side, removing yourself from the bight completely.
  • Review and understand proper notching techniques.


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 #: 92-21-2016| May 25, 2016

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