Log Handling, Sorting and Storing » Receiving and Storing

This section looks at how logs are unloaded and then stored within a sawmill. Click on the following links for more specific information:


Logs that are released improperly due to poor work practices may crush workers.

  • Worker releases load binders from the side opposite the unloading side.

    Release binders only from the side on which the unloader operates, except when released by remote control devices or when the person making the release is protected by racks or stanchions or the equivalent. 1910.265(d)(1)(i)(c)

  • Loads on which a binder is fouled by the unloading machine must have an extra binder or metal band of equal strength placed around the load, or the load must be secured so the fouled binder can be safely removed. 1910.265(d)(1)(i)(d)

  • A powered industrial truck pushes the load off the truck.

    The tripping mechanism that releases the stake or chocks must be on the opposite side of the load being tripped. 1910.265(d)(1)(i)(a)

  • Do not release binders on logs prior to securing with unloading lines or other unloading devices. 1910.265(d)(1)(i)(b)

The following sequence of pictures depicts a safe unbinding and unloading procedure:

The carrier truck approaches from the far side and places carrier mechanism over load and secures it for the approaching truck drivers. Note: The load binders are still secured in place.
With the unloader holding the logs in place, the truck driver releases the load binders.
After binders are released, the driver moves to a safe location.
Load is then removed from the truck for storage in the log yard.


Loads could fall and strike or crush workers due to equipment failure.

  • Tractor carrying logs through yard in unstable manner

    Machines used for hoisting, unloading, or lowering logs must be equipped with brakes capable of controlling or holding the maximum load in midair. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(a)

  • The lifting cylinders of all hydraulically operated log handling machines must be equipped with a device that prevents uncontrolled lowering of the load or forks in case of a failure in the hydraulic system. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(b)

  • Unsafe handling of logs

    A limit switch must be installed on powered log handling machines to prevent the lift arms from traveling too far in the event the control switch is not released in time. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(c)

  • Unsafe operation of loader in log yard

    When forklift-type machines are used to load trailers, a means of securing the loading attachment to the fork must be installed and used. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(d)

  • A-frames and similar log unloading devices must provide safe clearance for swinging loads, crotch lines and spreader bar devices. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(e)

  • Log Carrier

    Log handling machines used to stack logs or lift loads above operator's head must be equipped with adequate overhead protection. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(f)

  • Logs are in a stable, secure position

    All mobile log handling machines must be equipped with headlights and backup lights. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(g)

  • Unloading devices must be equipped with a horn or other noise-making device. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(h)

  • Knuckle boom unloading logs from log truck

    When the operator's vision is impaired or when operating in the vicinity of other employees, coordinate the movement of unloading equipment with audible or hand signals. 1910.265(d)(1)(ii)(i)


Workers may be struck by loads or equipment in unsafe log dumps, booms, ponds, or storage areas.

  • Unstable log pile creating an unsafe work area.

    Log dumps, booms, ponds, or storage areas used at night must be illuminated in accordance with the requirements of American National Standard A11.1-1965 (R-1970) Standard Practice for Industrial Lighting, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6. 1910.265(d)(2)(i)(a)

  • Logs in storage in log yard. Can you spot the potential hazard?

    Log unloading areas must be arranged and maintained to provide a safe working area. 1910.265(d)(2)(i)(b)

  • Logs in log yard

    Where skids are used, maintain a space adequate to clear a man's body between the top of the skids and the ground. 1910.265(d)(2)(i)(c)

  • Log yard - small sawmill

    Post signs prohibiting unauthorized foot or vehicle traffic in log unloading and storage areas. 1910.265(d)(2)(i)(d)


Logs that are stored in an unsafe manner could move or fall, then strike or crush workers.

  • Knuckle boom loader at log deck

    Dry deck storage areas must be kept orderly and maintained in a condition that is conducive to safe operation of mobile equipment. 1910.265(d)(2)(v)(a)

  • Logs must be stored in a safe and orderly manner, and roadways and traffic lanes must be maintained at a width adequate for safe travel of log handling equipment. 1910.265(d)(2)(v)(b)

  • Secure, stable log piles in storage yard

    Logs must be arranged to minimize the chance of accidentally rolling from the deck. 1910.265(d)(2)(v)(c)


Workers could be struck by logs or crushed due to unsafe work practices.

  • Logs on log deck

    Safe access to the head rig must be provided. 1910.265(d)(3)(i)

  • Carrier truck moves logs onto log deck.

    Log decks must be provided with adequate stops, chains, or other safeguards to prevent logs from rolling down the deck onto the carriage or its runway. 1910.265(d)(3)(ii)

  • Log deck with end stops

    Erect a barricade to stop any log between the sawyer's stand and the log deck. 1910.265(d)(3)(iii)

  • Do not allow loose chains or other equipment that may strike employees to hang over the log deck. 1910.265(d)(3)(iv)

    Operator inside log carrier