Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents
• Record Type: Logging Operations
• Section: 5
• Title: Section 5 - V. Summary and explanation of the final standard

V. Summary and Explanation of the Final Standard

The revision of the pulpwood logging standard was undertaken in response to the concern on the part of OSHA to the number of fatalities and injuries that occur each year in the logging industry. The industry itself admits that logging is a high hazard industry. As discussed above, the injury and fatality incidence rates in the logging industry are among the highest industry incidence rates in the country.

The OSHA pulpwood logging standard, 1910.266, addressed only the hazards that exist in the pulpwood logging industry. However, examination of the descriptions of accidents and other information available to the Agency indicates that the same hazards exist for employees performing logging operations regardless of the end use of the harvested trees.

Many commenters supported the need for a comprehensive logging standard (Ex. 5-6, 5-10, 5-17, 5-18, 5-21, 5-22, 5-36, 5-41, 5-42, 5-46, 5-49, 5-59, 5-61, 5-65, 5-69; Tr. W1 pg 21, 73, 202). For example, one commenter said that in Maine it has generally been acknowledged that both products (pulpwood logs and logs used for other purposes) come off the same job (Ex. 5-46).

This final rule provides protection for all loggers involved in timber harvesting, including loggers employed as part of a mill operation, regardless of the end use of the forest products (saw logs, veneer bolts, pulpwood, chips, etc.). This standard fills the current gap in coverage by providing a basic level of protection for all loggers. OSHA has changed the title of 1910.266 from "Pulpwood Logging" to "Logging Operations" in order to reflect the wider coverage of this revised standard. In addition, OSHA has added and/or modified various provisions of the pulpwood logging standard to address more adequately the hazards faced in different aspects of logging operations. OSHA also has updated equipment specification requirements in the revised standard.

Throughout the development of the revised standard, the Agency strove to promulgate a final rule that is effective, and that is simple, concise, enforceable, and sustainable.

Paragraph (a) Table of Contents

OSHA has added a table of contents to aid employers and other persons in using the revised standard. The table of contents identifies the provisions that are included in the final standard and where specific requirements can be found. The table of contents also is included because the final standard represents a significant reorganization of the elements of the pulpwood logging standard.

The identification of the major paragraphs will, hopefully, aid persons in reading and understanding the requirements of this final rule. In order to add the table of contents, each of the subsequent paragraphs had to be renumbered. The paragraph references in the following discussion of the individual provisions of the standard are to the paragraphs of the final rule, unless otherwise noted.

Paragraph (b) Scope and Application

This paragraph defines the scope and application of this standard. The existing standard applied only to pulpwood logging operations. That standard adopted, pursuant to section 6(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the American National Standards Institute, ANSI 03.1-1971 Safety Standard for Pulpwood Logging (hereafter 1971 ANSI standard) (Ex 2-13). Included in the 1971 ANSI standard were requirements for important safety practices along with provisions pertaining to personal protective equipment, first aid and stationary and mobile equipment.

When ANSI revised the 1971 consensus standard in 1978, they expanded the scope of the standard to include all logging operations. The revised ANSI standard adopted, virtually unchanged, many of the requirements of the 1971 pulpwood logging standard, and applied those provisions to all logging operations throughout the nation. OSHA has taken a similar approach in this rulemaking. In paragraph (b)(1), the Agency has expanded the scope of the pulpwood logging standard, 1910.266, and to cover all logging operations regardless of the end use of the timber products.

In paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of the final rule, OSHA makes clear that the standard applies to all types of logging operations, regardless of the end use of the wood. Logging operations, as defined in paragraph (c) of the final rule, include, but are not limited to, marking, felling, bucking, limbing, debarking, chipping, yarding, loading, unloading, storing, transporting machines and equipment from one site to another, and other operations associated with felling and moving trees and logs from the stump to the point of delivery. Many commenters supported the application of the standard to all types of logging and all logging operations (Ex. 5-6, 5-10, 5-17, 5-18, 5-21, 5-36, 5-42, 5-46, 5-48, 5-49, 5-54, 5-61, 5-65).

One commenter said OSHA should exclude felling operations from the logging standard and cover only the movement of felled trees from the stump to the mill (Ex. 17). This commenter said that felling activity is not the most hazardous part of logging operations. OSHA believes the record does not support the commenters' recommendation. The record clearly shows that felling activities are the most hazardous activities of the logging operation. According to the WIR survey, more than one-half of all reported injuries involved various felling activities (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes that if the standard did not include hazards associated with felling the trees, that the majority of employees in the logging industry would still be exposed to significant risk of injury and death. Therefore, in the final OSHA has retained coverage of tree felling operations.

Another commenter raised the issue about whether establishments that hire independent contractors to perform various logging activities are considered employers covered by this standard (Ex. 5-23). The courts have held in various OSHA cases that when the contractor exercises control over the means and methods by which the independent contractor performs the work, that the contractor is regarded as an employer for purposes of this rule. Loomis Cabinet Co. v. Martin, 15 F.3d 1086 (9th Cir. 1994). See also Castillo v. Gibbons, 704 F.2d 181, 188-93 (5th Cir. 1993). For example, establishments that provide independent contractors with machines, such as yarders or forklift trucks, to perform the job are exercising control over the means by which the job is performed.

At paragraph (b)(1) of the final rule, the Agency has excluded from coverage the construction or use of cable yarding systems. Cable yarding, as defined in the final standard, is the movement of felled trees or logs from the area where they are felled to the landing on a system composed of a cable suspended from spars and/or towers. The definition further states that the trees or logs may be either dragged across the ground by the cable or carried while suspended from the cable. One of the end towers is located in the area where the trees or logs are attached to the cable yarding system and the other end is at the landing. Cable yarding systems are used primarily when the terrain is extremely rugged and the felled trees and logs are otherwise inaccessible. Important elements of the safe use of a cable yarding system include the selection and use of climbing devices to install the system, preparation of head and tail spars and intermediate trees or towers, component sizing, system rigging and system usage. There are generally three types of cable yarding systems, namely, high lead, skyline and slackline. In a high lead system, the mainline is threaded through the mainline block (pulley) that is attached near the top of the spar to obtain a lift of the logs being yarded. A skyline system is one in which the line (cable) is hung between two or more supports on which a carriage or block travels. A slackline system is a form of skyline system where the skyline is spooled on a drum so that the line can be raised or lowered. In all three systems, the spars are usually held in part and restrained against movement by the use of guylines that are anchored to the ground or another tree. Trees and logs may be moved by a cable yarding system by dragging them along the ground or while they are suspended from the system.

In the preamble of the proposed rule, OSHA explained that this exemption was included due to the regional nature of the use of cable logging systems. State plan States in the far west that have the most significant cable logging activity have developed very detailed cable logging standards. Many commenters testified that the hazards of cable yarding in those states have been adequately covered by the specific state standards (Ex. 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-21, 2-23, 5-17, 5-27, 5-39, 5-45, 5-74 through 5-92, 38J, 38K). However, some commenters discussed the need for increased regulation of cable yarding operations on the national level because they assert there is increasing use of cable yarding in non-western regions of the country where no State standards exist (Ex 5-19, 5-20, 5-36).

After careful consideration of the comments, OSHA has decided to retain the exclusion for cable yarding operations in this final rule for several reasons. First, the State logging standards that address cable yarding are detailed specification standards that adequately address the unique hazards associated with the construction and use of cable yarding in those particular States, that are all western States. For example, those standards deal with construction of cable yarding systems on steep slopes that are predominently in those western States. Those State cable yarding standards will not be affected by the Federal logging standard. Second, there is no evidence in this rulemaking record that those standards are not addressing particular hazards associated with cable yarding in those States. Third, OSHA agrees with the APA that the prevalent use of cable yarding is in those States that have their own standards that include requirements for cable yarding. None of the commenters representing non-western logging establishments indicated that cable yarding is being performed in their area or by their member companies. Fourth, OSHA believes there is not sufficient information and data in the record regarding cable yarding activities in non-western States to determine at this point whether the various cable yarding regulations of the western States would be appropriate to apply nationwide. For example, logging in western States is usually clear cut logging while selective cutting is more prominent in non-western states (Ex. 2-1). Other logging conditions vary across regions, such as tree size and type, weather, and terrain. For example, logging operations in western States are three times more likely to be on steep slopes, where skidding may be impossible (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes that these differences might affect what would constitute appropriate cable yarding rules for non-western States. Therefore, OSHA believes this issue requires further study before the Agency promulgates a national cable yarding standard.

However, OSHA emphasizes that the exclusion of cable yarding is only for the construction and use of the cable yarding system itself. Other parts of the logging operation taking place where cable yarding systems are present will be covered by this standard. Just as this standard extends the pulpwood logging standard to cover the same hazards experienced elsewhere in the logging industry, OSHA believes that these same hazards need to be covered by this standard when cable yarding operations are being performed. For example, the hazards for loggers felling trees exist regardless of how the trees or logs are moved about the work site. To this end, the Agency has included in the final standard the felling of the trees and the other operations that are conducted in conjunction with the use of a cable yarding system.

It should also be noted that the use of yarding machines with winches for playing out and retrieving cable is not considered cable yarding for the purposes of this standard. Therefore, this operation is covered by this final logging standard. In this type of log retrieval, a yarding machine plays out cable, to which is attached a choker sling that is secured to a tree or log. Once the sling is attached to the log, the cable is wound onto the drum and the tree or log is then yarded by skidding while attached to and supported by the cable on the winch. This system of yarding is oftentimes used when logging is being conducted along a roadway or other area where access to the area where the tree is felled is not practical and the area where the yarder (skidder) is operating is on the roadway or in an accessible area.

At paragraph (b)(3) of the final rule OSHA emphasizes that this standard is not a totally "vertical" standard for logging operations. That is, the requirements of this final rule are to be supplemented by other applicable requirements found elsewhere in part 1910. When there is a corresponding provision elsewhere in part 1910 that addresses the same hazard or condition of work as a provision of the logging standard, the more specific logging provision takes precedence for logging operations. By contrast, when hazardous working conditions are not addressed or covered by the logging standard, the other requirements of part 1910 apply. For example, employers in the logging industry must provide employees protection against occupational noise exposure by meeting the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.95. Employers in this industry must also comply with the permissible exposure limit for wood dust specified in 29 CFR 1910.1000 and meet the field sanitation requirements of 29 CFR 1910.28.

Several commenters raised the issue about what standards apply to the construction of roads and trails (Ex. 5-16, 5-44, and 5-63). These commenters said there was confusion about whether the entire part 1926 would be applied to logging operations. Construction activities such as the building of roads and trails are not logging operations, therefore they are covered by applicable construction standards and not the logging standard. As such, the use and maintenance of the equipment to perform the construction of those roads and trails, such as graders, scrapers, front-end loaders, and bulldozers, are covered by the construction standards. In addition, the building of roads and trails to reach logging sites is not a logging operation, but is a construction activity that is carried out preparatory to the logging activity. Therefore, in this final standard OSHA has removed references to road building construction activities. Road building in conjunction with the establishment of a logging activity is no different than road building to gain access to any other operation and is covered in the general construction standards.

However, the felling of trees in preparation for the construction activities, such as the building of roads, is considered to be a logging operation. To the extent that any employee is performing a logging operation in preparation for construction activities, the employee is performing general industry work, and the requirements of this standard as well as other applicable sections of part 1910, apply in order to safely fell those trees. For example, if trees are felled to prepare for road construction, the requirements in this final rule and other sections of part 1910 apply. This reasoning also applies to felling of trees in preparation for agricultural activities (e.g., felling trees to prepare land for crops). Felling of those trees is general industry work and the requirements of this standard as well as other applicable sections of part 1910 apply. To this end, OSHA has specifically referenced the applicability of the final logging standard in 29 CFR Part 1928 to felling of trees in preparation of agricultural activities.

Paragraph (c) Definitions

In paragraph (c), OSHA is adopting a number of definitions to clarify the meaning, intent and purpose of certain terms contained in this standard. Several definitions contained in the pulpwood logging rule were deleted from the proposed rule because the terms were no longer used in the regulatory text. In addition, 17 new definitions were added to the proposal. In the final rule OSHA has added and changed several definitions to better reflect the intent of the Agency and to aid interested persons in understanding the requirements of this standard. In addition, in the final rule OSHA has deleted several proposed definitions. Many of these terms involved cable yarding and road construction activities, that are not covered by this final rule.

"Cable yarding" is defined in this final rule as the movement of felled trees or logs from the area where they are felled to a landing by attaching them to a suspended cable system. The supports for the cable that carries or supports the trees or logs are called head and tail spars. Spars may be fashioned from standing trees or from metal towers (commonly called metal spars). There may be additional intermediate spars if the cable run is of sufficient length to require intermediate support. OSHA has specifically defined "cable yarding" in the final rule to aid persons in understanding the scope of the exclusion from the standard for this particular type of logging operation.

"Danger tree" is defined in the final rule as any standing tree that presents a hazard to an employee due to conditions such as, but not limited to, deterioration or physical damage to the root system, trunk, stem or limbs, and the direction and lean of the tree. The tree may be dead or alive. This term was not contained in the proposed standard. Instead, the related term "snag" was included and defined as any dead tree or portion thereof remaining standing. Also, the term "widow maker" was included in the proposed rule and defined as an overhanging limb or section of tree that could become dislodged and drop to the ground. Several commenters said this term should replace the use of "snag" in the proposed rule because the definition of snag implies that all dead trees are dangerous (Ex. 5-17, 5-50, 5-64, 17). Rep. Jolene Unsoeld, from the State of Washington, said that not all snags were dangerous to employees and many were essential to the health of the wildlife community (Ex. 17). In this final rule, OSHA has decided to use the term "danger tree," a term that is used in the State of Washington logging standard that is more inclusive of the various conditions that could cause a tree to be dangerous (Ex. 2-22).

"Designated person" is defined in the final rule as an employee who has the requisite knowledge, training and experience to perform specific duties. This definition is a close parallel to the definition of the term used in consensus standards dealing with material handling equipment, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME B30.5-1989 with Addenda, "Safety Standard for Mobile Cranes" (Ex. 38DD and EE). In the ASME standard, a designated person is defined as an employee who is selected or assigned by the employer as being competent to perform specific duties. In this final rule, the Agency has amended that definition to indicate that the employee needs to have the knowledge, training and experience to perform that job or duty for which he/she is designated. The possession of those attributes is not a discretionary decision on the part of the employer but a mandatory prerequisite that the employee must possess. Knowledge and competency are normally achieved through training or experience or a combination of those activities.

In this final rule a signal person, an explosive handler and user, a machine operator, a trainer, and a supervisor of new and newly-trained employees must be designated persons. In these cases, the Agency recognizes that each of those individuals must have knowledge, experience, and training to competently perform those tasks. For example, a signal person needs to know the various signals to use when indicating that a particular operation or movement is to be made. The signal person also must know and understand how the task is to be performed and the role of his signals in completing the task safely.

"Domino felling" is defined in the final rule as the partial cutting of several trees that are left standing and then pushed over with a pusher tree. Domino felling is a dangerous practice that is prohibited by the final standard. When one tree falls into or against another tree, the direction of fall of each tree may be altered to the point that either tree may fall in an unexpected, and oftentimes, dangerous location. Whenever one tree is being felled and it strikes another tree, the base of the tree being felled can kick back, striking the feller who has not moved away sufficiently from the tree being felled. Additionally, one tree falling into another tree can result in the initial tree becoming lodged in the second tree, thereby making it necessary for an employee to remove the lodged tree.

"Health care provider" is defined in this final rule as a health care practitioner operating within the scope of his/her license, certificate, registration or legally authorized practice. As used in this standard, health care providers are practitioners whose authorization qualifies them to approve first-aid kits that are to be used in the logging industry.

"Log" has been defined in the final rule as a segment sawed or split from a felled tree. This term replaces the terms section, log, bolt and tree length, that were all used in the pulpwood logging standard and the proposed standard. The usual practice in the harvesting of large and/or tall trees is to cut them into shorter, more manageable lengths before they are yarded so that they may be more easily handled and transported. In some cases, extremely large diameter trees may be split lengthwise so that they can be handled and transported to the mill for further processing. Although the practice of splitting a very large tree is not as common, the Agency has included a log as any section of tree, whether that section has been cut or split from a tree.

"Logging operations" is defined in the final standard as operations associated with felling and moving trees and logs from the stump to the point of delivery, such as, but not limited to, marking, felling, bucking, limbing, debarking, chipping, yarding, loading, unloading, storing, and transporting machines, equipment and personnel from one site to another. The proposed rule did not define logging operations. OSHA has included this definition in the final rule to emphasize that this standard covers those operations involving the felling and moving of felled trees, as opposed to other operations, such as road building that are preparatory to rather than part of logging operations.

"Machine" is defined in the final standard as a piece of equipment having a self contained powerplant that is operated off-road and is used for the movement of materials. Machines include tractors, skidders, front-end loaders, scrapers, graders, bulldozers, swing yarders, log stackers and mechanical felling devices, such as tree shears and feller-bunchers. In the pulpwood logging and proposed standards, terms such as "machine" and "equipment" were used interchangeably to describe a piece of equipment that is intended to be operated off-road and is used primarily for the movement of material. Some commenters said they were confused about whether "vehicles" were included within the term "mobile equipment," that had been broadly defined as the kind of equipment which includes mobility as part of its work function. Because of the potential for confusion regarding the intention of the Agency in proposing requirements for off-road versus on-road equipment, the Agency has defined both the terms "machine" and "vehicle." The intent of the Agency in including these terms is to distinguish between machines, whose primary area of operation is off-road and are primarily material movers, and vehicles that include personnel and material conveyances operated on highways as well as off-road.

The operators of many vehicles (primarily trucks, tractor/trailers and buses) require special licenses or endorsements to qualify as an operator of that type vehicle. In contrast, machine operators usually do not have to possess a special license. Therefore, OSHA is defining and imposing different logging-related requirements for the operation of machines and vehicles. The use of the term "machine" as used in this standard should not be confused with the use of that term elsewhere in these general industry standards.

"Rated capacity" is defined in the final rule as the maximum load that a piece of material handling equipment can safely lift and move. This is a term that is commonly used when describing the capability of a piece of material handling equipment. The rated capacity of a piece of material handling equipment is initially determined by the manufacturer and documented in the operators manual and on the equipment.

"Serviceable condition" is defined in this final rule as that quality of a tool, machine, vehicle, or other device to operate as it was intended by the manufacturer to operate. OSHA believes that there are many conditions that can exist with a piece of equipment that would make it unserviceable, as well as other conditions that would not similarly qualify. For example, seat covering material on a tractor that has become cracked, although uncomfortable, would not normally qualify as a condition that would make the machine unserviceable. On the other hand, worn brakes or a leak in the brake system would definitely make a machine or vehicle unserviceable. Additionally, cracked or broken gauges and defective or leaking fuel systems are other conditions that would render a machine or vehicle unserviceable.

In the case of personal protective equipment, head protection that has a crack that would compromise the ability of the hard hat to absorb further impact without injuring the employee is an example of an unserviceable condition. On the other hand, a small dent in a hard hat would not necessarily render the head protection unserviceable.

"Tie down" is defined in the final rule as an assemblage of binder and strapping (either chain, cable, steel strips or fiber webbing) that is used to secure a load to the bed of a transport vehicle. In the proposed rule, OSHA used the term "binder" to indicate the assembly that is used to secure a load to a vehicle during transport of that load. As pointed out by two commenters (Ex. 5-7; Tr. OR 20), a binder is a component of a tie down and is the ratchet assembly that is used to secure and tighten the strapping of the tie down. In this final rule, the Agency has corrected the definition.

"Vehicle" is defined as a personnel conveyance and/or material handling equipment. Included are cars, buses, trucks, trailers and semi-trailers. Although vehicles normally operate on public roads, their use is not limited to that environment. Any of these pieces of equipment may operate not only on public roads, but may also be used to transport personnel or materials off-road. For example, when a logging truck or tractor/trailer is moving a load of trees or logs, the vehicle may have to traverse not only the logging trails or roads, but may have to operate on the public thoroughfares to deliver its load to the mill or other off-loading point. This final rule covers the logging operation from the site of the felling of the trees to the point of delivery of the trees or logs.

Paragraph (d) General Requirements

Included in the general requirements paragraph of the final rule are requirements for personal protective equipment, seat belts, first aid, fire extinguishers, environmental conditions, work areas, signaling and signal equipment, overhead electric lines, flammable and combustible liquids and explosives and blasting agents.

Personal Protective Equipment

Paragraph (d)(1) contain requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE), including its use and maintenance, and the inspection of PPE before its use during a workshift. Paragraph (d)(1) also specifies when employees must use gloves, leg protection, logging boots, head protection, and eye and face protection. This final rule, however, does not contain requirements for other types of personal protective equipment that are covered by other general industry requirements contained elsewhere in part 1910 (i.e., hearing protection and respiratory protection). Paragraph (b)(3) already makes clear that other requirements contained in part 1910 automatically apply when the logging standard has not addressed a particular hazard or working condition. Therefore, since part 1910 already require the use and maintenance of PPE, OSHA has included in paragraph (d)(1) only those items of personal protective equipment that are not contained elsewhere in that part or that are in some way different from the requirements contained in elsewhere in part 1910. As such, references to respiratory protection in subpart I of part 1910 and hearing protection at Sec. 1910.95 have been deleted from this final rule.

Paragraph (d)(1)(i) of the final rule requires that the employer assure that all PPE is maintained in a serviceable condition. This employer responsibility applies whether the PPE is provided by the employer or provided by the employee. One commenter recommended that OSHA include this provision in the final rule (Tr. W2 195). This provision parallels the maintenance requirements of the general industry PPE standards. Specifically, 1910.132(b) also requires that when employees are allowed to provide their own PPE, the employer is still responsible for assuring its proper maintenance. OSHA has recognized that whether or not the employer pays for particular types of PPE that must be worn in the workplace, the employer is responsible for assuring that required PPE is adequately protecting employees from workplace hazards. The only way for the employer to assure that PPE adequately protects employees from workplace hazards is to inspect the PPE and maintain it in the condition that it was intended by the manufacturer. The final rule, in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) (PPE maintenance) and (ii) (PPE inspection), imposes such responsibilities directly on the employer.

In order to assure that all PPE is maintained in a serviceable condition, paragraph (d)(1)(ii) requires that the employer assure that all PPE be inspected before initial use during each workshift. This inspection will assist employers in identifying whether any PPE is not functioning properly so that unserviceable equipment can be repaired or replaced. This paragraph also requires that before work is commenced, the employer must repair defects or damage, or replace the PPE. The Agency considers defects and damage to be conditions that detract from the ability of the product to perform its intended function. For example, worn cuffs on leg protection that do not compromise the ability of the leg protection to resist chain-saw cuts, is not a defect or damage within the meaning of this standard. However, a cut of the leg protection and loss of the fibrous material that is used to resist the chain saw would definitely be a defect or damage. When there is a defect or damage, the PPE must be repaired so that the condition no longer affects the serviceability of the item or the item must be replaced before work commences.

Discussed below are the specific PPE requirements of the final rule. OSHA notes that each of the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1)(iv) through (vii) require that the employer assures that the employee wears PPE meeting the requirement of the final rule. It is the responsibility of the employer to assure that serviceable PPE is available and worn by employees when required by the final rule. As discussed above in the Major Issues section, with the exception of logging boots, these specific PPE requirements impose on the employer the obligation to provide such PPE at no cost to the employee.

Gloves

Paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this final rule requires that the employer provide, at no cost to the employee, and assure that each employee handling wire rope wears cotton gloves or other equivalent hand protection. In the proposed rule, OSHA specified that the employer provide hand protection consisting of suitable heavy-duty puncture-resistant gloves when employees were working with wire rope. Several State logging standards also require the use of gloves for employees working with wire rope (Ex. 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-22, 2-23, 38K).

OSHA received many comments regarding the proposed requirement (Ex. 5-7, 5-17, 5-20, 5-27, 5-29, 5-30, 5-32, 5-35, 5-39, 5-43, 5-44, 5-45, 5-51, 5-54, 5-55, 5-62, 5-74 through 5-92; Tr. OR 104). Many commenters objected to the requiring the use of puncture resistant gloves, such as leather gloves, for logging operations. First, commenters argued that there are no gloves that are puncture resistant in all circumstances (Ex. 5-54; Tr. OR 104). They argued that wire rope can puncture even leather gloves. Second, several commenters indicated that cotton gloves have become the industry standard and that their experience had shown that medium weight cotton gloves are considered safer than leather gloves in logging operations when punctures can occur. According to these commenters, cotton gloves give the logger a better feel of jaggers (broken wires in a wire rope) when they penetrate so the logger is able to quickly let go of the wire rope (Ex. 5-17, 5-74 through 5-92). They added that break-away gloves are imperative when the wire rope travels at high speed and reaction time is critical (Ex. 5-74 through 5-92). They said that cotton gloves, but not leather gloves, will tear away from the hand when caught by a jagger rather than forcibly pulling the hand along with the jagger, causing the employee to fall and possibly into the path of the log (Ex. 5-7, 5-74 through 5-92). These commenters argued that pulling of the hand and glove could make a minor hand injury more serious such as making a small puncture wound a tear or laceration of the skin (Ex. 5-29). Third, one commenter indicated that cotton gloves provide adequate protection because a review of their recordable accidents since 1982 indicated that no employee wearing cotton gloves while handling wire rope had suffered an injury requiring medical attention (Ex. 5-45). Fourth, these commenters said leather gloves are generally considered hazardous for logging operations because they do not have good gripping ability on cable when wet (Ex. 5-7, 5-20, 5-43, 5-46). These commenters asserted that cotton gloves provided better gripping ability in the same circumstances.

Fifth, commenters argued that the required gloves must be applicable and efficient for a wide range of logging activities. One commenter pointed out that employees who use saws also work with wire rope, and very few will take the time to change gloves between each operation (Ex. 5-35). For these reasons, OSHA has, in this final rule, changed the requirement for the use of hand protection to specify that cotton gloves or other equivalent hand protection must be worn when handling wire rope.

"Leg protection." At paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the employer provide, at no cost to the employee, and assure that each employee who operates a chain saw wears leg protection. This paragraph requires that the leg protection be comprised of ballistic nylon or other material that the employer demonstrates provides equivalent protection. In addition, this paragraph requires that the leg protection cover the full length of the thigh to the top of the boot on each leg.

The pulpwood logging standard did not have a requirement for the use of chaps or other leg protection. The proposed rule would have required that chain-saw operators wear ballistic nylon or equivalent protection covering each leg from upper thigh to boot top or shoe top. Both the State of Washington and the State of Oregon logging standards require the use of leg protection by chain-saw operators (Ex. 2-22, 38K).

The need for and the use of leg protection was one of the issues raised in the hearing notice and has been discussed above in the Major Issues section. The evidence in the record, as discussed above, strongly supports the need for a requirement for leg protection for each chain saw operator in order to protect that operator against being injured by contact with a moving saw chain. OSHA points out that the requirement for using leg protection applies to each employee who operates any chain saw at any time on the job. This requirement includes the employee who is a regular chain saw operator as well as the employee who occasionally uses a chain saw. Some commenters emphasized the need for any employee who uses a chain saw, even occasionally, to wear leg protection (Tr. W1 193, W2 61, 115). Other commenters said OSHA should provide an exception for employees who operate chains saws only occasionally (Ex. 5-20, 5-59). The Agency believes that an employee who operates a chain saw for any duration needs leg protection. OSHA also notes that there were no comments received saying leg protection was too burdensome for infrequent operators or for short duration use.

In this paragraph, OSHA also has included an exception to the leg protection requirement for employees working from bucket trucks and, in some instances, for climbers. OSHA has allowed the exception for those working in bucket trucks, because the bucket work platform provides the necessary protection for these chain saw operators.

With regard to climbers, OSHA has retained an exception in the final rule for certain situations. Climbers are not required to wear leg protection when the employer demonstrates that a greater hazard is posed by wearing leg protection in the particular situation. As the final rule makes clear, this is not a blanket exception for climbers. The employer must evaluate the particular situation to determine whether there is a greater risk to the climber by wearing leg protection. OSHA points out that the employer will bear the burden of demonstrating that leg protection poses a greater hazard for the climber. OSHA received one comment that said leg protection should not be required because it was a hindrance during tree climbing (Ex. 5-7). The fact that leg protection may be a "hindrance" is not in itself a showing that leg protection poses a greater danger. When the hindrance is just that climbing goes more slowly when leg protection is worn, the employer has not made the requisite showing that leg protection poses greater safety hazards. However, when the employer shows that in wet conditions leg protection would substantially increase the likelihood of falling, it may be appropriate in that case for the climber to refrain from using leg protection. In such cases, OSHA believes that alternative methods for protecting the legs, such as light and pliable pads sewn into work pants, should be used whenever feasible.

"Foot protection." At paragraph (d)(1)(v) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the employer assure that each employee wear foot protection, such as heavy duty logging boots. This provision requires that the foot protection be waterproof or water repellant, cover and provide support for the ankle, and protect the employee against chain-saw penetration. This paragraph allows employees to wear sharp, calk-soled boots, or other slip-resistant boots, when the employer demonstrates that they are necessary for the job, terrain, timber type, or weather conditions. However, this alternative foot protection must otherwise meet the requirements of this paragraph.

OSHA notes that when the logging boot itself does not provide protection from penetration by a chain saw, the employee must use some additional foot protection, such as a foot cover, to provide that necessary protection. Information in the record indicates such devices are commercially available in the logging industry, therefore, this provision should not prove burdensome (Ex. 5-14).

Both the proposed and pulpwood logging standards contained provisions requiring that safety boots or shoes (excluding low cut shoes) meet ANSI Safety Standards for Men's Safety-Toe Footwear. The proposal also would have allowed heavy duty logging style boots with lug or calk soles to be worn when they are appropriate for the job, the terrain, the timber type and weather conditions. Several State logging standards also require that employees wear logging boots (Ex. 2-17, 2-19, 2-20, 2-22, 2-23, 38K).

While there was considerable comment on the proposed safety boot requirement, commenters generally supported the need for a safety boot provision (Ex. 5-11, 5-17, 5-19, 5-24, 5-27, 5-28, 5-29, 5-33, 5-43, 5-50, 5-51, 5-54, 5-55, 5-63, 5-67, Tr. W1 63, 110, W2 115, 139). OSHA received the most comment on the issue of who must provide and pay for the safety boots. That issue has been discussed at length above in the Major Issues section.

OSHA also received considerable comment opposing the incorporation of the ANSI Z41.1 standard on safety shoes (Tr. W1 147-148). Commenters from cold climate areas, such as Alaska, northern Washington, Idaho and Montana, opposed the proposed requirement because they contended that the steel toes transmit the warmth produced by their feet, thereby encouraging the onset of frostbite.

For several reasons, OSHA has used performance criteria rather than incorporating by reference any foot protection standard. First, the ANSI standard permits low-cut shoes that do not cover the ankle or provide ankle support. Second, the ANSI foot protection standard is a testing rule for steel toes of safety shoes. While falling objects may pose a hazard for logging employees, the greater hazard is penetration of the boot by a chain saw. The ANSI standard does not address this hazard and it does not provide adequate protection to the entire foot, which is necessary. In addition, as discussed above, steel-toed boots may cause problems for loggers working in extreme cold. OSHA received comment about efforts to develop, manufacture and market protective footwear with fiberglass rather than steel toes, but there is no accepted standard yet. Third, the ANSI standard does not address hazards that are unique to the logging industry, such as wet conditions and penetration of the boot by a chain saw. Fourth, there is no evidence in the record of any other consensus standard regarding logging boots. OSHA is aware of efforts by various organizations and associations, in conjunction with the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), to develop test standards for personal protective equipment that is intended to apply directly to loggers and the logging industry. These standards would be similar to the various Canadian PPE standards developed by the Safety and Engineering Program Laboratory Services (IRRST) (Ex. 5-72).

Instead, the Agency has specified that logging boots that meet certain performance criteria must be worn by each employee. OSHA has reviewed the rulemaking record and determined some of the most important performance characteristics that are needed in order to deal with particular hazards that are present in logging operations (e.g., steep and uneven terrain, wet and cold weather, chain-saw kickback). For example, two hearing participants testified that logging boots must provide ankle support for the employee (Tr. W1 147, OR 222). Coverage and support of the ankle is necessary to protect against lacerations and to prevent ankle injury when navigating the rugged terrain that characterizes much of the logging environment. One commenter also said that logging boots must be waterproof or water repellent so that the logger would not be exposed to getting trench foot or immersion foot (Tr. W1 147). Finally, commenters said logging boots must provide protection against penetration by a chain saw if contact is made with the boot (Tr. W1 148, 195, W2 139).

Several commenters also supported the proposed provision allowing lug or calk-soled boots to be used (Ex. 5-19, 5-28, 5-29). These commenters said that working conditions varied too greatly to require the use of one type of boot sole for all logging regions. For example, one commenter said that calk boots are considered essential for safe and secure walking on steep western forest terrain (Ex. 5-28). Another commenter stated that there are situations in the south where smooth soled boots are adequate (Ex. 5-29). In addition, this commenter said that there are conditions when calk boots might pose a greater danger, such as a machine operator who is continuously mounting and dismounting a machine via steel platform steps where the calk boots could result in slipping or falling. As a result, this commenter said that calk and sharp-soled boots should be limited to those situations when the type of logging operation, terrain, timber size or weather conditions make their use appropriate. The U.S. Department of the Interior also commented that calk-soled boots may contribute to certain types of logging injuries, such as knee injuries (Ex. 5-50). Based on these comments, OSHA specifically allows sharp, calk-soled boots or other slip-resistant type boots to be worn, provided the employer can demonstrate such boots are needed for the employee's job, the terrain, the timber type or the weather conditions.

In order for the employer to demonstrate that such footwear is necessary, the employer must prove that three conditions are met: (1) that the footwear is appropriate for use in the work environment; (2) the employee's duties require him/her to work where the footwear is needed; and (3) that the use of the alternative footwear does not make the work less safe. For example, if the area where the logging is being done is moist to wet and has a dense leaf cover, the use of calk-soled boots (boots with spiked soles) would provide the logger with additional traction when walking and working on that ground cover. On the other hand, such footwear is not appropriate when a machine operator spends little time working on the ground (even if the same conditions as described above prevail) since spikes make frequent mounting and demounting of the machine more hazardous. OSHA recognizes that slips, trips and falls are a major source of injury in the logging industry, accounting for one third of the injuries to loggers (Ex. 2-1).

OSHA is also requiring that when an employee wears calk-soled logging boots, the other foot protection requirements of this paragraph must also be met. OSHA is aware that most calk-soled boots do not have steel-toes or other devices that prevent penetration by a chain saw. However, OSHA is also aware that calk-soled boots are worn primarily by fellers and buckers operating chain saws on steep terrain. Evidence in the record indicates that a vast majority of loggers in western States, where the terrain is steep, wear calk-soled boots (Ex. 2-1). However, even in those States, almost 20 percent of all injuries reported in the WIR survey involved chain saws. The vast majority of these injuries happened when the logger was struck by the chain saw. Therefore, OSHA believes that it is necessary that even when an employee wears calk-soled boots, he must also have foot protection providing protection against chain-saw penetration. As stated above, when the boot itself does not provide that protection, the employee must wear some other device that will provide the needed protection. The record shows there are such devices currently available on the market, therefore, OSHA does not believe this additional requirement will be unduly burdensome (Ex. 5-14).

"Head protection." At paragraph (d)(1)(vi) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring each employee who is at risk of injury from falling or flying objects to wear head protection. The head protection must meet the requirements of newly-revised subpart I of part 1910. Both the pulpwood logging standard and the proposed standard contained head protection requirements. The pulpwood logging standard had identified the performance criteria that head protection was required to meet, but did not specifically require employees to wear it. The proposed standard added that requirement and updated the performance criteria for the required head protection. Several State logging standards also require that employees wear head protection (Ex. 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-22, 2-23, 38K).

OSHA did not receive any comments opposing the required use of head protection and has retained the proposed provision in the final standard. OSHA believes it is important to stress that in the logging industry head protection is necessary to protect employees not only from falling objects, but also from flying objects. According to the WIR survey, 14 percent of all injuries reported were to the head (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes this hazard is present especially for fellers, chain saw operators and persons performing chipping operations, however, there are other logging operations where the potential for head injury also exists.

"Eye and face protection." Paragraph (d)(1)(vii) of the final rule requires that each employee who works in an area where there is a potential for injury due to falling or flying object shall wear eye and face protection meeting the requirements of subpart I of part 1910. This provision permits logger-type mesh screen to be worn when the employer demonstrates it provides equivalent protection. The proposed rule also contained these provisions. The 1978 ANSI standard contained a similar requirement. Eye and face protection is also required by several State logging standards (Ex. 2-18, 2-19, 2-22, 2-23, 38K).

Two commenters said OSHA should require eye protection to be worn only in certain situations (Ex. 5-43 and 5-64). One commenter stated:

This is a good rule for some logging activities, such as felling, bucking, splicing, etc.; however, we do not feel that this is necessary for choker setting and many machine operators, such as yarder, loader, feller-bunchers (Ex. 5-64).

After reviewing the evidence in the record, OSHA believes that a requirement mandating eye and face protection is necessary. According to the WIR survey, 13 percent of all injuries reported involved the eyes and face (Ex. 2-1). In the final rule, OSHA is requiring only that such protection be worn whenever there is the potential for head injury due to falling or flying objects. OSHA agrees with the commenters that the potential for eye and face injury is present especially for fellers, buckers and chippers, however, there are other logging operations in which the potential for this type of injury also exists. In any logging operations when there is no danger of being struck by falling or flying objects, eye protection is not required.

Employers, under the PPE standard, will have to conduct a hazard assessment to determine when and where those hazards may exist in the logging workplace. In some cases, the presence of the hazard will be obvious (e.g., fellers and buckers). In other cases, working conditions may be such that there is no potential for injury (e.g., yarder operator working inside an enclosed cab).

As with the head protection provision, OSHA has retained the eye and face protection provision to alert the industry that falling objects, in addition to flying objects, are a hazard for employees in the logging industry.

First-Aid Kits

At paragraph (d)(2) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that employers provide first-aid kits. The proposed standard contained this provision. First aid kits are also required by every State Plan State logging standard. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this requirement in general.

Paragraph (d)(2)(i) of the final rule requires that first-aid kits be at each work site when felling is being conducted, at each landing and on each employee transport vehicle. The proposed rule stated that first-aid kits be provided "at the work site." Several commenters said that OSHA should define the term "work site" (Ex. 5-39, 5-53, 5-55, 5-63) in the final rule. They also said that having kits available at the landing should provide adequate protection. However, another commenter said chain-saw operators working away from the landing need first-aid kits and should each be required to carry a small first-aid kit that contains supplies to stop bleeding (Ex. 5-28).

In the final rule, OSHA has clarified its intention regarding having first-aid kits at each work site. First, the records shows that first-aid kits are necessary at each work site when felling is being conducted and not just at landings. According to the WIR survey, more than one-half of all injuries occurred at the cutting site, while only one-fifth of the injuries were at landings (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes that immediate assistance must be provided for injured cutters. As discussed above in the Major Issues section, many logging establishments have central offices, but their crews are performing operations miles from that central location. OSHA has received testimony that cutting crews are often spread out and in remote locations (Ex. 5-34; Tr. OR 21). These commenters said crews are often located more than one-half hour away from a central office or spread across five square miles. First-aid kits that require that much time to access are of limited value to an injured employee. When an injury is severe, the lack of immediately accessible first-aid materials and trained personnel could result in permanent disability or death. Therefore, OSHA is requiring that first-aid kits be provided at each work site where trees are being felled.

Second, OSHA is also requiring first-aid kits to be provided at each landing. As discussed above, one-fifth of all injuries reported in the WIR survey occurred at landings (Ex. 2-1). First-aid kits at landings are also necessary to provide assistance to other injured employees, such as those on skid trails. According to the WIR survey, nearly one-fifth of employees injured were on skid trails.

Third, OSHA is retaining the requirement from the proposed rule that first-aid kits be provided on each crew vehicle. The WIR survey indicates that employees are injured on employer-built roads while enroute to and from work sites (Ex. 2-1). One commenter stated that requiring first-aid kits on each employee transport vehicle could result in several kits being at each work site (Ex. 5-35). Nothing in the standard prohibits an employer from using the employee transport vehicle kits by a felling crew during the workshift, provided they are returned to the crew vehicle when it is moved at the end of the workshift.

Paragraph (d)(2)(i) of the final rule also requires that the employer, in determining the appropriate number and contents of first-aid kits, to consider the degree of isolation of the work site, the number of employees at the work site and the hazards reasonably anticipated at that work site. The further a crew is from a central landing, the more crucial a first-aid kit is for that remote crew. For example, large and well-supplied first-aid kits are needed where crews are so remotely located that rescue units (either vehicles or helicopters) cannot get to the injured person or not get there quickly. When crews are very small and located close to central landings smaller kits may be adequate, when supplemented by kits at central landing areas that contain a more comprehensive supply of first-aid materials.

Paragraphs (d)(2)(ii), (iii) and (iv) all deal with the adequacy of the contents of first-aid kits. At paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of the final rule, OSHA has specified that each first-aid kit must meet certain minimum content requirements. Those minimum content requirements are delineated in mandatory Appendix A. OSHA received comments urging OSHA to specify the contents needed for an "adequately supplied" first-aid kit (Ex. 5-21, 5-28, 5-50, 30). These commenters also pointed out that several State logging standards specify minimum first-aid content requirements (Ex. 2-18, 2-21, 2-22, 2-23, 38J, 38K). In addition, one commenter also provided a list of minimum contents needed for logging first-aid kits. Based on these comments and OSHA's expert judgment, the items listed in Appendix A are the type necessary for dealing with injured persons in remote areas of varying climatic conditions. OSHA points out that the specified contents are minimally adequate for a small logging crew of two to three employees. Where crews are larger, additional kits or kits with more supplies may be needed. In formulating this final rule, OSHA included Appendix A (First-aid supplies) and Appendix B (First-aid training) to provide the employer with a definitive means of determining the adequacy of the first-aid kits and the training that employees must receive.

OSHA has deleted from the final paragraph the proposed requirement that first-aid kits include snake bite kits. OSHA received several comments about this provision (Ex. 5-7, 5-17, 5-29, 5-35, 5-42, 5-50, 5-51, 5-55, 5-67). One commenter said this requirement should be deleted since there were no poisonous snakes in his area (Ex. 5-7). Other commenters said that some snake bite kits were not effective in treating bites or that they are outmoded and can do more damage than good (Ex. 5-17, 5-29, 5-35, 5-42, 5-50, 5-51, 5-55, 5-67). For example, NIOSH said that it is possible more serious injury will occur to a person by improper use of a snake bite kit (Ex. 5-42). According to the Regional Snake Bite Control Center at the University Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH, snake bite kits should not be used when medical treatment is available within one hour of the bite (Ex. 5-42). OSHA has determined that, given the regional differences in the logging industry, employers should be allowed to work with their health care provider to determine whether a snake bite kit is necessary and what kind of kit would be of most assistance for loggers working in that area. One of the factors the health care provider should consider is how far particular loggers are from medical facilities and trained medical personnel.

Paragraph (d)(2)(iii) requires a health care provider to review and approve annually the first-aid kits the employer provides, both as to the adequacy of the kit's contents and the number of kits provided. OSHA has added this requirement in the final rule for several reasons. First, 1910.151(b) already requires that first-aid kits be approved by consulting physicians. OSHA is aware that health care providers in addition to physicians are qualified to approve first-aid kits and OSHA wants to provide flexibility for employers in meeting this requirement. Second, 1910.151(b) only requires initial approval of first-aid kits rather than periodic approval. However, OSHA believes that a periodic review of first-aid kits is necessary and appropriate in the logging industry. This industry is one in which the workplace is often not near medical personnel, infirmaries, clinics, or hospitals that are best able to treat logging injuries. Therefore, it is important for a health care provider to assess the contents of first-aid kits to see that they contain those supplies that will provide effective assistance for an injured worker.

Once the kits are reviewed and approved, paragraph (d)(2)(iv) requires the employer to maintain the first-aid kits in accordance with the approval conditions. Employers have the duty to ensure that first-aid kits are adequately supplied and replenished as necessary. In addition, the employer is responsible for assuring that kit contents are usable, that is, there is no spoilage or damage due to weather conditions. For example, employers need to periodically check first-aid supplies to ensure that materials are still in clean and sterile condition.

Seat Belts

At paragraph (d)(3) of the final standard, OSHA is requiring the provision of seat belts for the operator of any vehicle or any machine equipped with ROPS or FOPS and the use of seat belts by the vehicle and machine operator and passengers. The pulpwood logging standard required the provision of seat belts on mobile equipment, but did not require the use of seat belts by operators and passengers. The proposed rule required both the provision and use of seat belts by tractor, equipment and personnel transport operators. In addition, the proposed rule allowed an exception to using seat belts when the employer had "reasonable cause to believe that safety of the operator is jeopardized by wearing a seat belt." The 1978 ANSI logging standard required logging machines to be equipped with seat belts. All State logging standards also require the use of seat belts by operators and passengers of machines and vehicles.

OSHA received many comments on the use of seat belts (Ex. 5-17, 5-19, 5-22, 5-35, 5-39, 5-45, 5-51, 5-54, Tr. W1 79, 113, 183, 213). The West Virginia Forestry Association recommended expanding the seat belt requirement to require seat belts be installed and used in all personnel transport vehicles because West Virginia did not have a state seat belt law (Ex. 5-4). Other commenters also recommended that OSHA not permit any exceptions to the use of seat belts (Ex. 5-17, 5-22, 5-27, Tr. W1 183, 213). One commenter reasoned that any exception would invite widespread abuse and seriously weaken OSHA's field enforcement capability (Ex. 5-22). However, other commenters said that seat belts should not be required because they would unduly restrict operators, would result in greater injury if an object entered the operator area (i.e., "jillpoke"), and would be hazardous for employees operating machines on steep terrain (Ex. 5-35, 5-45; Tr. W1 79, 113, OR 31-2, 83, 120, 181).

After reviewing the comments in the record and the available accident data, OSHA has decided in the final rule to eliminate the seat belt exception for several reasons. First, the record shows that use of seat belts would save lives in the logging industry (Ex. 4-129). A State of Washington study also reported 12 loggers killed in rollover accidents from 1977-83 (Ex. 4-129). All 12 of those employees were crushed by the machine when they were thrown from the cab. This study concluded that all of those deaths might have been prevented if the employees involved had been wearing seat belts because the ROPS and FOPS were still intact when the machine came to a rest. This study also concluded that eliminating exemptions on seat belt use would save lives in the logging industry.

Second, the record does not support the view that the operator's risk of being injured by a jillpoke entering the cab is greater than the risk of injury from not wearing seat belts. Of the 105 logging fatalities reported to OSHA between 1985 and 1990, only one was caused by a jillpoke (Ex. 4-65). On the other hand, 7 fatalities occurred during machine rollover accidents when either the machine operator or a rider was thrown from the machine and crushed because he was not wearing a seat belt. NIOSH said that 80 deaths occurred due to logging machine rollovers from 1980-85 (Ex. 5-42). The State of Washington study indicated that 12 loggers were killed in machine rollover accidents and no machine operators were killed during that period because of jillpokes (Ex. 4-129). California OSHA also testified that their experience has been that the jillpoke hazard is far outweighed by the hazard of rollovers (Ex. 9-12). They provided examples of logging accidents in which the employee would not have died or been injured if he had been wearing a seat belt.

Third, OSHA has dealt directly with the hazard of jillpokes in the final rule. The final rule requires that all operator cabs be equipped with screening or other material that will prevent objects from penetrating the cab. This requirement is expected to prevent jillpoke injuries, therefore the seat belt exception is not necessary.

Fourth, OSHA agrees with commenters that there should be no exception to the seat belt requirement for mobile machine operators, especially those who operate on steep terrain. Mobile logging machines are operated on unlevel ground and steep terrain where it is well-recognized that machine rollover and tipover is a primary danger. Seat belts will restrain the operator in the cab and its protective structure rather than allowing the operator to try to jump free. In most instances, when the operator tries to jump free he is pinned, crushed or hit by the machine, ROPS/FOPS or overhead guard. Finally, OSHA notes that seat belts have been designed that keep operators restrained within the cab in the event of a rollover or tipover, while at the same time providing them with maximum movement within the cab. One commenter said these seat belts, which resemble carnival harnesses, have been designed by the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (Ex. 32). These seat belts would meet the requirements of this section while addressing the concerns raised by the commenters.

Paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of the final rule requires that each employee fasten the seat belt securely and tightly so that the employee is restrained in the vehicle or machine cab in the event of an accident. Evidence in this record (Ex. 5-35; Tr. W2 190) indicates that employees frequently keep their seat belts loose in order to move in the cab more easily. However, if the machine rolls over, the loose seat belt may not be effective in keeping the operator in the cab. In such cases, the operator may be thrown from the cab and pinned or crushed by the machine because the seat belt was too loose to keep the operator fully contained in the cab.

Paragraph (d)(3)(iv) of the final rule requires that machine seat belts meet the requirements of the Society of Automotive Engineers standard (SAE J386 June 1985) for seat belts for construction machines. This incorporation by reference of SAE J386 June 1985, has been approved by the Office of the Federal Register, in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR Part 51. The final rule has been revised to reflect this approval and provides the requisite information regarding access to the text of SAE J386, June 1985. This provision updates the proposed standard to incorporate the latest SAE seat belt standard. There were no comments opposing this provision.

Paragraph (d)(3)(v) of the final rule requires employers to assure that seat belts are not removed from any vehicle or machine. This paragraph also requires the employer to replace the missing seat belts if seat belts were installed in the vehicle or machine at the time of manufacture and have subsequently been removed. OSHA is aware that seat belts are removed from machines because operators do not like to wear them. OSHA is requiring the replacement of seat belts because the Agency believes they are essential in protecting machine and vehicle operators from being killed or seriously injured in accidents.

Paragraph (d)(3)(vi) of the final standard requires employers to assure that seat belts are maintained in a serviceable condition. Employers have the duty to ensure that seat belts are functioning properly and are not damaged. The standard also requires inspection of seat belts as part of the general machine and vehicle inspection required at the start of each workshift. (See discussion of maintenance in paragraphs (f) and (g)).

Fire Extinguishers

At paragraph (d)(4) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring employers to provide and maintain a portable fire extinguisher on each machine and vehicle. The extinguisher must meet the requirements of subpart L of part 1910. The pulpwood logging and proposed standards required a fire extinguisher at locations where machines and vehicles are being operated.

Several commenters urged OSHA to limit this requirement (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39). Two of these commenters said that fire extinguishers should only be required on heavy equipment and at refueling stations (Ex. 5-21, 5-36). The other commenter said fire extinguishers should only be required during forest fire seasons.

OSHA has decided in the final rule to require extinguishers on each machine and vehicle for several reasons. First, repeatedly in this rulemaking commenters have requested that OSHA more clearly define what constitutes a "work site," an "operating area," or a "work area." OSHA's intention in the proposed rule was that a fire extinguisher be located where each machine and vehicle is operated, including areas where they are refueled. OSHA believes that requiring the fire extinguisher be located on each machine most clearly conveys the Agency's intention that the fire extinguisher move with the machine or vehicle as it is operated and refueled.

Second, the potential for fire is a major concern in this industry (Ex. 5-20). It is important that extinguishers be immediately available so that a fire can be extinguished before it goes out of control and endangers employees and the forest. A fire extinguisher that is located at a landing where the machine begins its operation, may be of no use when the machine is miles away from the landing picking up a load.

Third, one of the areas where the potential for fire is great is during refueling of the machine. However, the proposed standard only required the extinguisher to be located where machines and vehicles were being operated and did not address refueling directly. If the extinguisher remains with the machine or vehicle, it will be there to protect against fire hazards during refueling.

Fourth, OSHA is aware that in many industrial settings, the extinguisher is already mounted on the machine or vehicle so that it is immediately accessible when a fire occurs. Therefore, OSHA does not believe complying with this requirement will pose a significant burden on the employer.

Environmental Conditions

At paragraph (d)(5) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that all work be stopped and that each employee move to a place of safety when environmental conditions may endanger an employee in the performance of their job. This provision also specifies that hazardous environmental conditions include, but are not limited to, electrical storms, high winds, heavy rain or snow, extreme cold, dense fog, fires, mudslides, and darkness. The pulpwood logging and proposed rules contained a similar provision, however, it only specifically identified electrical storms and high winds. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement and, in addition, required logging operations to cease when visibility is inadequate, unless artificial lighting is provided. All State logging standards, except the State of Alaska, have provisions requiring work to cease when environmental conditions are hazardous to employees.

OSHA received several comments on this provision (Ex. 5-50, 5-51, 5-55, 5-66; Tr. W1 139). Some of these commenters recommended expanding the conditions listed in this provision. These commenters also said logging should be stopped when darkness impairs visual ability, unless artificial light is provided. One commenter said they do not allow their employees to work in blowing snow, extreme cold or winds (Ex. 5-51). Another commenter said OSHA should specify that the work stoppage requirement should be limited to only that work that is affected by the environmental conditions (Ex. 5-55; Tr. W1 139).

OSHA does not believe it is possible to delineate each and every environmental condition that would necessitate termination of work and moving employees to a place of safety. OSHA is aware that the employer's judgment will be essential in carrying out this provision in the various environmental conditions that affect different regions of this industry. However, the criteria that must form the basis of the employer's assessment is uniform -- when a reasonable employer would believe that environmental conditions may endanger employees performing a specific job or operating a specific piece of equipment, work must stop and the employees must move to a place of safety. For example, darkness may prevent a feller from accurately assessing the distance between occupied work areas or the condition of the tree to be cut (e.g., loose bark, damaged trunk or limbs). If the feller is not able to properly assess these conditions, he may endanger himself and others in the area. Therefore, work would have to stop unless artificial light were available to alleviate the danger.

Another element of the determination as to whether an environmental condition may endanger an employee is the particular job being performed and the tools of that job. For example, dense fog may endanger a feller because they may not be able to see the top of the tree and accurately judge its lean. If such conditions exist, felling must be stopped. However, fog may not necessarily endanger employees who are loading transport vehicles at a landing. In that case, the employees might still be able to perform their job under such conditions.

Work Areas

At paragraph (d)(6) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that work areas be so organized and spaced that the actions of one employee will not create a hazard for any other employee. This paragraph also requires that each employee work in a position or location that is within visual or audible contact with another employee. These provisions were adopted from the proposed standard. The pulpwood logging and 1978 ANSI logging standards also recommended a two tree-length distance between work areas. Requirements similar to the final rule exist in various State logging standards (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-21, 2-22, 2-23, 38J, 38K).

At paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that work areas be assigned so that trees cannot fall into adjacent occupied work areas. This provision also requires that the distance between adjacent occupied work areas be at least two tree lengths of the trees being felled. The proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard contained similar requirements.

OSHA received comments supporting this provision (Ex. 5-29, 5-41, 5-67, 5-70; Tr. W2 163). These commenters said that two tree lengths is already used in the industry to ensure safe spacing of work areas. Some commenters, however, said that the provision should be limited (Ex. 5-28, 5-36, 5-39, 5-44, 5-49, 5-53, 5-54, 5-63, 5-74 through 5-92). One commenter said OSHA should require minimum spacing requirements only when physical control of the timber was unpredictable, such as felling and skidding (Ex. 5-28). Other commenters recommended that the requirement be limited to slopes that are greater than 25 or 35 percent (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39, 5-63).

The purpose of these requirements is to protect employees in adjacent occupied work areas from being hit by misdirected trees. One of the major causes of injury in the logging industry is being hit by a tree. According to the WIR survey, almost one-quarter of all those injured were hit by a tree (Ex. 2-1). The State of Washington study showed that more than 65 percent of all employees were killed when they were hit by a tree or log (Ex. 4-129). In addition, the study showed that almost nine percent of that reported fatalities resulted from an employee being hit by a tree being felled by another employee (Ex. 4-129).

Employees can be hit by a tree that falls in the wrong direction or by one that rolls or slides down sloping terrain. There is no dispute that there is increased difficulty in directional felling on unlevel terrain. OSHA believes that these work spacing requirements in the final rule will help to prevent these types of accidents. Moreover, adopting any of the limitations that the commenters proposed would still leave employees exposed to other foreseeable hazards. Since the two tree-length distance has become accepted practice in the industry, it appears that industry itself recognizes the need for a minimum work spacing requirement and that the provision should not prove overly burdensome for any establishments in the industry.

In paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of the final rule OSHA is also requiring that employers assess conditions to determine whether additional spacing between adjacent occupied work areas is necessary. Some of the conditions that employers must examine include the degree of slope, the density of the growth, the height of trees, the soil structure, and other hazards reasonably anticipated at that work site. This paragraph also requires that additional distance be maintained between adjacent occupied work areas on any slope where rolling or sliding of logs is reasonably foreseeable. These provisions were also contained in the proposed rule and in various State logging standards (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-22, 38J, 38K). The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement.

Some commenters said greater distance should only be required when the slope is greater than 25 or 35 percent (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39, 5-63). These commenters, however, did not provide any information on why such a limitation would provide adequate protection for employees. OSHA does not agree that greater distance may only be necessary on such steep slopes. OSHA believes there is a potential for trees and logs to roll and slide on lesser slopes when conditions such as snow and ice accumulation or wet soil are present. Therefore, OSHA does not believe that adequate protection would be provided if the commenters' recommendation were adopted.

Other commenters said that a greater distance on slopes should not be required when employees are working to the side of each other, pointing out that the Alaska logging standard allows this (Ex. 5-74 through 5-92). OSHA believes that the final standard is consistent with the Alaska logging standard. The final rule only requires that a greater distance is required on any slope where rolling or sliding of trees or logs is reasonably foreseeable. Nothing in the final rule requires a greater distance on slopes when there is no danger that an employee could be hit by a rolling or sliding log. For example, when employees work side by side on a slope, rather than uphill and downhill from each other, there is no danger that the employee will be injured by a rolling log.

At paragraph (d)(6)(iii), OSHA is requiring that each employee, without exception, be located within visual or audible contact of another worker. This provision must be read in conjunction with the requirements in paragraph (d)(7) specifying what methods of audible contact may be used (i.e., not chain-saw engine noise). This requirement parallels the proposed standard, however the proposed rule did not apply this requirement to motor vehicle operators, watchmen and other single employee assignment jobs. The pulpwood logging standard required that employees work within the vocal range of other loggers but also allowed employers to use an alternative procedure that provided for periodic checks of employee welfare.

Much of the comment on this requirement has already been discussed in the Major Issues section above. Some commenters opposed various aspects of this provision (Ex. 5-29, 5-36, 5-39, 5-49, 5-53, 5-54, 5-67, 5-70, 5-74 through 5-92; Tr. W1 65). One commenter recommended allowing manual fellers to be out of contact with other employees, such as skidder operators, for up to 20 minutes (Ex. 5-54). This commenter said that was the amount of time necessary to transport a load to the landing and return to the cutting area. However, the commenter has not provided any information or data to support why such an exception would still allow for adequate protection for fellers. OSHA does not believe that permitting periods of time in which contact is not maintained will provide adequate protection for employees. A chain-saw operator who severely cuts himself could bleed to death within 20 minutes.

Other commenters opposed this provision because it would be difficult to comply with this requirement and maintain the required two tree-length separation between adjacent work areas (Ex. 5-29, Tr. W1 pg 65). For several reasons, OSHA believes employers will be able to comply with both requirements. First, this paragraph requires each employee to be within visual or audible contact with "another" employee. It does not require that the person with whom contact is maintained be in an adjacent work area. Second, the provision requiring at least two tree-length spacing between adjacent occupied work areas is intended to prevent trees from falling from one work area into another. The purposes of a visual or audible contact is to provide a method for employees to remain in contact in case of an emergency (e.g., a chain-saw operator requesting first aid after being cut by the saw, an employee alerting others of severe weather approaching). Therefore, if employees are provided with radio communication, it would be possible for employees whose work areas are spaced far apart to maintain contact with each other.

Third, as discussed above in the issues section, the final rule does not require that visual contact be maintained. Instead, audible contact may be maintained by the use of horns, whistles or radio communication. As such, employees can be great distances from each other and still remain in contact satisfying the requirements of this provision. Fourth, OSHA is also aware that many logging establishments are currently using radio communication to maintain contact, that is the best evidence of its effectiveness.

As stated above, in this paragraph OSHA has eliminated all proposed exceptions to the requirement of maintaining contact with another employee. As discussed above in the Major Issues section, OSHA has eliminated the proposed exceptions for several reasons. First, various State standards do not include an exception to the contact requirement (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-21, 2-22, 38J, 38K). Second, several commenters supported the proposal that all employees remain in contact and indicated that they do maintain contact with all employees, including employees in single employee assignments, via radio and telephone (Ex. 5-74 through 5-92). As a result, these commenters suggested the exceptions may no longer be necessary (See also, Ex. 5-33). These commenters also reasoned that all employees, including mobile machine operators performing single employee assignments, need a method of summoning help in an emergency. OSHA agrees with these commenters. The Agency believes that the contact requirement will help to provide prompt assistance to all employees who are injured or are otherwise in emergency situations. As discussed above in the Major Issues section, with the advent of radio communication, it is feasible to maintain contact with workers performing single employee assignments.

OSHA notes that it is implied in this provision that not only will means for contact be provided, but also that contact will be maintained with each employee. All but one State logging standard require check-in systems to assure that contact is maintained (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-21, 38J, 38K). In addition, several commenters say they have initiated check-in systems to assure that employees working in remote locations are all right.

At paragraph (d)(6)(iv) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring the employer to account for each employee at the end of the workshift. OSHA has adopted this provision from the pulpwood logging and the proposed standards. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement. Several State logging standards also require check-in systems at the end of the workshift to ensure no employees are left in the woods (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 38K). Several commenters said that it was not necessary for small felling and bucking crews to be accounted for by anyone other than the crew members (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39, 5-53, 5-63). In response, OSHA points out that nothing in the final rule would prevent the employer from allowing a crew supervisor, for example, to account for the rest of the crew at the end of the workshift. In such cases, the employer is responsible for establishing and enforcing a regular system whereby there is a check on each employee at the end of the workshift. The most important thing is that no employee is unaccounted for at the close of the shift. As with the contact requirement, OSHA believes that this provision will help to assure timely assistance to employees in emergencies.

In addition, end of shift accounting offers several other benefits to the employer and employee. First, the employer can remain appraised of the progress made on the job during the last workshift. Second, any hazardous conditions that were not contemplated during pre-shift meetings with employees can be relayed to the employer for dissemination to other employees. Third, unserviceable tools and machines can be reported to the employer so that replacements can be obtained or repairs can made before the next workshift. Therefore, OSHA has retained this provision in the final standard.

Several commenters said this provision would interfere with contracting situations when the logger is an independent contractor (Ex. 5-21, 5-23, 5-36, 5-53, 5-55, 5-63). However, they did not provide any evidence as to how this provision might conflict with contracting agreements.

Signaling and Signal Equipment

At paragraph (d)(7)(i) of this final rule, OSHA is requiring that hand or audible signals such as whistles, horns, or radios, be utilized whenever noise, distance or other factors prevent clear understanding of normal voice communications between employees. Paragraph (d)(7)(ii) prohibits the use of engine noise, such as from chains saws, as a means of maintaining contact. These provisions supplement and support the requirement for the maintenance of audible or visual contact contained in paragraph (d)(6)(iii). The proposed rule also contained a contact requirement. However, it would not have prohibited the use of chain-saw noise as a means of signaling. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a requirement similar to the proposed rule. Several State logging standards also prohibit the use of chain-saw noise as a signaling device (Ex. 2-22, 2-23, 38K). The Washington State logging standard requires fellers to carry whistles, which are to be used for no other purpose than to summon help (Ex. 2-22, 5-7).

OSHA received many comments on this provision opposing the prohibition of chain-saw noise as a signaling device, that have been discussed above in the Major Issues section. Other commenters supported the provision, focusing their comments on allowing communication devices such as telephones and radios in the final rule (Ex. 5-54, 5-70, 7-74; Tr. W2 197). One of these commenters supported the provision because the use of electronic communication, such as citizen band radios, makes controlling trainees easier (Tr. W2 197). Another commenter supported the use of whistles for signalling because they produce a very unusual sound in the woods that can be heard for a great distance (Ex. 5-7).

In general, there are two principal safety-related needs for a signalling system in logging operations. The first is for the maintenance of communication between employees working in adjacent occupied work areas, both to warn other employees of potential hazardous situations and to summon help in an emergency. The second need for a signaling system is to provide guidance to the operators of machines and vehicles, such as cranes and other material handling machines, when work site conditions prevent operators from seeing and controlling the operation. For example, if a crane is used to move a load from below an overhang such as a cliff, a signal person might be needed to observe the load and to signal the crane operator when and how to move the load.

As discussed above in the Major Issues section, paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of the final rule prohibits the use of engine noise as a signaling device. This paragraph does permit other locally and regionally recognized signals to be used. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing the use of locally or regionally recognized signals, therefore, the Agency has retained this provision in the final rule.

At paragraph (d)(7)(iii) of the final rule, OSHA has added a provision requiring that only designated persons give signals except in an emergency. The proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained this requirement. Several State standards also require that only designated persons give signals (Ex. 2-18, 2-21, 2-22, 38K). As defined in this standard, a designated person is one who has the necessary knowledge, training and experience to perform specific job tasks. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision.

OSHA has included this provision in the final rule for several reasons. First, OSHA believes that the signaling system should be included in the employer's training-program so that employees who are called upon to act as signal persons will know how to signal appropriately. This is especially important when an employee performs signaling to assist with the safe operation or movement of a machine or load. It is also important that employees know the appropriate signals in the event that help must be summoned. The employee requiring help needs to know what means are to be used to communicate the necessary information and how to use those means of communication properly. In addition, other employees must be trained in what they should listen for so they can avoid potential hazards or provide assistance. Second, OSHA believes that employees without the necessary training should not be permitted to act as a signal person for assisting with the operation and movement of machines and loads. When the signal person has not been adequately trained, the risk of harm to the signal person, the machine operator and other employees in the vicinity is great. Third, the use of trained signal persons should reduce the potential for conflicting signals that could create a hazard.

Overhead Electric Lines

At paragraph (d)(8)(i) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that logging operations near overhead electric lines be done in accordance with the requirements of 1910.333(c)(3). The proposed rule repeated some of the requirements of 1910.333(c)(3). The pulpwood logging standard did not contain any provision regarding overhead electric wires. All State logging standards contain restrictions regarding felling near power lines.

One comment was received addressing minimum clearance from overhead lines (Ex. 5-34). This commenter suggested that when the line voltage is unknown and other information indicates that the line is obviously high voltage, a minimum clearance of 20 feet must be maintained from the line until the line voltage is established by the electrical system operator. The separation distance recommended by the commenter would provide clearance that would only be warranted by a 350 KV line. OSHA believes that maintenance of that great a separation distance is unnecessary in this rule. High voltage lines of this order of magnitude are usually on tall transmission towers, therefore it is highly unlikely any employee would come in contact with the line or have any means of getting near the line.

OSHA believes that 1910.333(c)(3) adequately spells out the precautions and clearances that must be taken when working near overhead lines. OSHA finds nothing indicating that logging is different from the rest of general industry, therefore, the Agency does not believe a special provision is necessary to address the logging industry.

At paragraph (d)(8)(ii) OSHA is requiring the employer to immediately notify the power company when any felled tree comes into contact with a power line. This provision also requires each employee to remain clear of the area until the power company advises there are no electrical hazards. OSHA has adopted this provision from the proposed standard. OSHA did not receive any comments on this provision.

Flammable and Combustible Liquids

At paragraph (d)(9) of the final rule, OSHA is including requirements for the safe handling and use of flammable and combustible liquids. As was proposed, the final rule requires such liquids to be stored, handled, transported and used in accordance with subpart H of Part 1910.

Two commenters opposed this provision (Ex. 5-7, 5-34). One commenter stated:

After carrying a 40 pound saw, lunch, water, wedges and wrenches, the last thing the timber faller wants to add is more weight. So when he goes to carry fuel and oil it's normally carried in labeled plastic containers, generally in sizes not exceeding two quarts. To carry fuel in approved containers would do nothing more than add back injuries to the statistics (Ex. 5-7).

In response, OSHA points out that there are approved plastic storage containers available in small sizes, such as two quart containers. Nothing in the final rule or subpart H of part 1910 prohibits employers from using small plastic storage containers, provided they meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.106. Further under 29 CFR 1910.106, the maximum allowable size of approved plastic fuel container is one gallon. OSHA does not believe that carrying one gallon or less of fuel in a plastic container will substantially increase back injuries.

At paragraph (d)(9)(ii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that flammable and combustible liquids not be transported in the driver's compartment or in any passenger-occupied area of a machine or vehicle. OSHA is aware that pick-up trucks are often used to transport employees to a logging work site. Transportation of flammable and combustible liquids in the passenger compartment of these vehicles exposes the driver and passenger to fire and explosion hazards and is not a safe practice.

At paragraph (d)(9)(iii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that each machine, vehicle and portable powered tool, such as chain saw, be shut off during refueling. OSHA has added this requirement because it believes that when handling flammable and combustible liquids, it is essential to eliminate sources of ignition. The requirement to shut off the engines of motor vehicles when they are refueled is mandatory in most states and is clearly posted in service stations. Because OSHA believes that it is essential to minimize the sources of ignition when refueling vehicles, the Agency has retained the requirement as proposed.

At paragraph (d)(9)(iv) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that flammable or combustible liquids not be used to start fires. The proposed rule contained a requirement that chain saw fuel not be used to start fires. While several commenters supported this requirement (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-74 through 5-92), other commenters, including the State of Washington, opposed the provision (Ex. 5-34, 5-66). They said that loggers would use whatever material they have to start a fire rather than losing production time to return to a vehicle to obtain materials. In addition, the State of Washington said they were not aware of any injuries occurring as a result of this practice.

OSHA has carefully considered these comments. OSHA understands that in cold weather employees must be able to warm their hands and feet to prevent frostbite and to maintain proper grip of tools. However, OSHA believes that the use of a flammable liquid, such as gasoline, to start a fire can quickly result in an uncontrolled fire that endangers the loggers and others in the vicinity. Other commenters have told OSHA about the dangers of fires, especially during the dry season (Ex. 5-7, 5-21, 5-39). In particular, when an area is cold and wet, gasoline will not volatilize or burn rapidly. However, as the fire gains intensity, the gasoline will evaporate more rapidly, causing the fire to suddenly flame up and can rapidly get out of control. Instead of using gasoline or a gasoline mixture, there are products available that are not combustible to start fires, such as fire starters comprised of sawdust and wax. These products are small, light weight and will not suddenly accelerate their combustion.

OSHA has deleted from the final rule the proposed requirement that chain-saw fuel not be used as a solvent. Two commenters said that chain-saw fuel is recommended by manufacturer's as a cleaning solvent for chain-saws (Ex. 5-7, 5-34). For example, manufacturers' specifications indicate that chain-saw fuel is the most effective solvent for cleaning chain-saw air filters. OSHA agrees with the commenters and has eliminated the prohibition from the final rule.

Explosives and Blasting Agents

At paragraph (d)(10) of the final standard, OSHA is including requirements on the safe use of explosives and blasting agents. Paragraph (d)(10)(i) of the final requires that explosives and blasting agents be stored, handled, transported and used in accordance with the requirements of subpart H of this part. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard contained a similar requirement. All State logging standards contain requirements on the use of explosives and blasting agents. There were no comments opposing this provision.

Paragraph (d)(10)(ii) of the final rule requires that only designated persons handle or use such materials. As discussed above, a designated person is one who possesses the requisite training, knowledge and experience to perform the specific duties. The proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard also required that explosives only be handled by trained and experienced personnel. All State logging standards also require that only trained employees handle explosives. OSHA did not receive any comments on these provisions.

At paragraph (d)(10)(iii) of the final standard, OSHA is requiring that explosives and blasting agents not be transported in the driver compartment or any passenger-occupied area of a machine or vehicle. The proposed rule did not contain a similar requirement. OSHA has added this provision in the final rule for the same reason that it included a similar provision regarding flammable and combustible liquids. OSHA believes that employees may be gravely endangered by riding over rough terrain and trails in close proximity to explosives.

Paragraph (e) Hand and Portable Powered Tools

Paragraph (e) of this final rule contains requirements for the safe use of hand and portable powered tools, including chain saws. For the most part, these requirements were derived from corresponding provisions in the pulpwood logging standard.

In the final rule OSHA has combined provisions regarding both hand tools and chain saws. This was done to provide uniformity in how tools are addressed in the logging standard. In addition, OSHA has combined these provisions to reduce duplicative provisions, such as those dealing with maintenance and inspection of tools.

General Requirements

Paragraph (e)(1) deals with general requirements for all hand and portable powered tools. At paragraph (e)(1)(i) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring employers to assure that each hand and portable powered tool is maintained in serviceable condition. This employer responsibility applies whether the tool is provided by the employer or employee. This paragraph adopts the proposed provision. All State logging standards contain similar requirements about the maintenance of logging tools.

OSHA received several comments on this provision (Ex. 5-35, 5-39, 5-53, 5-54, 5-62, 5-63, 5-66). These commenters supported the need for tools to be properly maintained. One commenter said that lack of proper maintenance of chain saws contributes to a number of accidents (Ex. 5-35). However, most of the commenters stated that the maintenance of tools that are supplied by employees should be the employees' responsibility (Ex. 5-35, 5-53, 5-54, 5-62, 5-63, 5-66).

One commenter stated:

We feel that it is not reasonable and it is burdensome to logging companies to have to be responsible for the condition and safety of an employee's own tools. We feel very strongly that there should be a recognition of one's individual responsibility in this area. A more general statement might be appropriate in this item simply stating that "tools shall be properly maintained so as to assure safe operation and shall be used only for their intended purpose and design" (Ex. 5-39).

OSHA does not agree with these commenters. OSHA believes that the Agency's reasoning in including a maintenance provision in the PPE section applies here as well (See summary and explanation of paragraph (d)(1)(i)). The requirement for employers to assure that tools are maintained in a serviceable condition does not prohibit the employer from allowing an employee to inspect, maintain and repair tools he provides. The employer's responsibilities for compliance with standards and for safe working conditions that the OSH Act imposes, applies even if the employee provides the tools.

This paragraph is meant to be viewed in conjunction with paragraph (e)(1)(ii), that requires inspection of tools before they are used in each workshift. As discussed above, "serviceable condition" is the state or ability of a tool to operate as it was intended by the manufacturer.

At paragraph (e)(1)(ii), OSHA is requiring that the employer assure that each tool is inspected before initial use during each work shift. This paragraph also specifies the minimum elements to be inspected, such as chain brakes, handles, guards, and controls, to assure that the tools are functioning properly. In the proposed standard, OSHA specified that hand tools be checked during use to ensure continued serviceability. The proposed rule also required chain saws to be "frequently" inspected. The proposed rule also contained elements that must be included in hand tool inspections. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also required periodic inspection of tools.

OSHA received comments on these provisions. Some commenters recommended that OSHA establish the frequency that tools, such as chain saws, should be inspected (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39, 5-53). One commenter objected to inspection of chain saws:

The need for chain saws to be "frequently inspected" should be clarified further. How often is frequently and who would be responsible for the inspections? (Ex. 5-39).

OSHA believes that the final rule adequately addresses the commenter's concerns. First, OSHA explicitly identifies the required frequency for inspection of tools. Second, nothing in the final rule prohibits the employer from allowing the tool user or operator to conduct the workshift inspection, provided that such inspection and the required content of the inspection are accomplished in the manner and time frame specified by OSHA. Finally, the standard specifies the minimum elements that must be covered by the inspection.

At paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the employer assure that each tool is used only for purposes for which it has been designed. OSHA has adopted the provision from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained this requirement. OSHA received only one comment on this provision that supported its inclusion (Ex. 5-39).

At paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that when the head of any shock, impact-driven or driving tool begins to chip, it shall be repaired or removed from service. The proposed rule would have required that tools be repaired when "any mushrooming" occurs. A similar requirement was contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard.

The State of Washington opposed the proposed provision, stating that the language was too restrictive (Ex. 5-34, 9-10). The State said that as soon as a plastic wedge if firmly struck there will be some small amount of mushrooming. In the final rule, OSHA has clarified this provision by requiring that the tool be repaired or removed from service when it begins to chip. OSHA believes that this language more accurately describes the hazard that arises over time with these tools. Over time there is a tendency for the steel in these tools to become brittle and chip. When a tool has reached that point, continued use of the tool can cause metal fragments to chip off the tool and fly into the air, thereby endangering employees. The metal fragments could be small enough to strike the eye or large enough to cause a sizeable laceration.

At paragraph (e)(1)(v) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the cutting edges of each tool be sharpened in accordance with manufacturer's specifications whenever they become dull during a workshift. OSHA received little comment on this provision. One commenter stated:

With regard to the sharpness of cutting tools, we have had some interpretive problem in California where fire suppression agencies who have been requiring various tools to be razor sharp rather than sharp enough to do the task for which they are intended. The result has been unnecessary cuts to employees who have inadvertently had incidental contact with such tools. We would suggest that the word "adequately" be inserted between the words "kept" and "sharp" to provide a more "moderate" meaning to this requirement. (Ex. 5-55).

The need for tools to be inspected and sharpened as necessary is well-recognized and has been a part of OSHA's and ANSI's logging standards from the start. OSHA believes that the final rule adequately addresses the commenter's concerns. OSHA has added to the final rule the requirement that tools be sharpened according to the manufacturer's specifications. This addition has also been supported by other commenters (Ex. 5-51, 5-53, 5-55).

At paragraphs (e)(1)(vi) and (vii) OSHA is requiring that each tool be stored and transported so it is not damaged and will not create a hazard for an employee. These provisions require that racks, boxes, holsters or other means shall be provided and used for transporting tools. These provisions parallel requirements contained in the proposed and pulpwood logging standards. The proposed rule specified that tools be secured during transport but did not require that storage containers be provided. In addition, these provisions as proposed were included in the 1978 ANSI logging standard. OSHA received only limited comments on these provisions. Two commenters stated that the storage provision was unnecessary and, at most, should be limited to cutting tools (Ex. 3-53 and 5-55). The other commenter said that the proposed transportation provision was not protective enough (Ex. 5-7). This commenter stated that outside boxes or storage units should be utilized especially for crew vehicles, because tools can bounce around when transported in such a vehicle, particularly when the vehicle is operated on off highway roads or trails, and could injure employees who are riding with the tools.

OSHA believes that provisions for proper tool storage and transportation are necessary to protect employees from injuries. Such provisions have been in OSHA and ANSI standards for many years. In this regard, however, OSHA also believes that it is not necessary to require that tools be stored outside of passenger areas during transport if there are appropriate containers or other means to adequately secure the tools. Therefore, in the final rule OSHA has clarified that employers must provide and use some means, such as racks, boxes or holsters, of securing tools during transport.

Chain Saws

At paragraph (e)(2) of this final rule, OSHA specifies various requirements for the proper use of chain saws in the logging industry. OSHA believes these requirements are necessary to protect loggers from injury when using chain saws. Several commenters also supported the proposed chain saw requirements as reasonable practices (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-74 through 5-92). As discussed earlier, the WIR survey indicates that chain saw accidents accounted for 20 percent of the reported accidents (Ex. 2-1). According to a Maine BLS, from 1980-87 there were an average of 362 disabling chain-saw injuries each year (Ex. 4-176).

In recent years there have been many improvements in chain saw safety due to the introduction of devices such as chain brakes, bar tip guards, and reduced kickback bars and chains. Also, the availability of protective chaps and pads of ballistic nylon or other lightweight protective materials have provided further protection for chain-saw operators. OSHA believes that proper use of improved chain saws and personal protective equipment, and compliance with the work practices will greatly improve the safety record of chain saw operations. OSHA also believes that proper training in these requirements will result in better understanding of how these safety devices and work practices can work to reduce chain-saw related injuries.

At paragraph (e)(2)(i), OSHA is requiring each chain saw placed into initial service after the effective date of this section be equipped with a chain brake. In addition, this paragraph requires that chain saws meet all other requirements of the ANSI standard B175.1-1991 "Safety Requirements on Gasoline-Powered Chain Saws." This incorporation by reference of ANSI B175.1-1991, has been approved by the Office of the Federal Register, in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. The final rule has been revised to reflect this approval and provides the requisite information regarding access to the text of ANSI B175.1-1991.

Paragraph (e)(2)(i) also requires that each chain saw placed into service before the effective date of this section be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain-saw kickback. Finally, this provision also requires that chain-saw kickback devices not be removed or otherwise disabled.

The proposed rule did not require installation of chain brakes or other devices. The proposed rule did, however, require that when such devices were present they should be inspected frequently and maintained. The need for devices to prevent kickback was specifically raised as an issue in the notice of hearing.

OSHA received many comments on whether chain-saw protective devices should be required in the final rule. These comments have been discussed above in the Major Issues section. One commenter suggested that loggers be allowed to remove chain brakes when, in the judgment of the operator the presence of the chain brake creates a hazard greater than the hazard the brake was designed to avoid (Ex. 5-55). This commenter suggested that it is more hazardous to have a chain brake when the saw is operated on its side and at other unspecified times. However, the commenter did not provide any data or other evidence to support his contention. There is no other data or evidence in the record that chain brakes may create additional hazards at any time during the cutting process. Additionally, OSHA believes that once the chain brake is removed it is likely the operator will leave it off and remain exposed to injury from chain saw kickback. As noted in the earlier discussion, commenters stated that removal of devices is occurring, thereby exposing the operator to the risk of injury due to kickback. Therefore, OSHA is requiring that chain-saw kickback devices not be removed or otherwise disabled.

At paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that each gasoline-powered chain saw be equipped with a continuous throttle system which stops the running chain when pressure on the throttle is released. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. OSHA received one comment that stated that if the safety equipment that came with the chain saw were in place, the accidents listed in the preamble would not have occurred (Tr. W1 66). Therefore, this requirement has been retained in the final rule.

NIOSH recommended that OSHA require chain saws be equipped or retrofitted with mufflers meeting the chain-saw manufacturer's specifications (Ex. 5-42). NIOSH said mufflers would be effective for noise reduction. OSHA has not adopted NIOSH's recommendation. First, retrofit mufflers may cause operational difficulties. Second, retrofit mufflers may also contribute to an increase in back pressure for the operator.

Paragraphs (e)(2)(iii) through (e)(2)(xiv) specify various requirements for safe operation of chain saws. OSHA believes these work practices are essential in reducing the number of injuries that occur to chain-saw operators. According to the WIR survey, the vast majority of chain-saw injuries reported indicates that unsafe work practices were involved (Ex. 2-1). In contrast, only four percent of chain-saw injuries were the result of equipment failure.

At paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the chain saw be operated and adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. This provision adopts the requirement contained in the proposed rule. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this requirement.

At paragraph (e)(2)(iv) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the chain saw be refueled at least 20 feet from any open flame or other source of ignition. This provision adopts the requirements contained in the proposed rule. This requirement was also contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard. The OSHA pulpwood logging standard required only that chain saw operators be instructed to refuel the saw only in safe areas and not in areas conducive to fire.

OSHA believes that a separation between a fueling area and any source of ignition, such as a cigarette, is necessary to prevent ignition of vapors from spills or from overfilled chain-saw tanks. The final rule clarifies what constitutes at least a minimal safe fueling area. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this requirement.

At paragraph (e)(2)(v) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the chain saw be started at least 10 feet from any fueling area. This provision also adopts the requirement contained in the proposed rule.

Only one commenter opposed this provision, saying that in some instances it would be impossible to move 10 feet from a fueling area to start the chain saw (Ex. 5-7). However, no substantive evidence was presented.

OSHA believes that when a chain saw is started, there is a potential that spilled fuel in the area could also become ignited. For example, a faulty spark plug wire can cause an arc between the wire and metal casing, resulting in the igniting of spilled fuel. In addition, the record shows that the danger of fire is a major concern in the logging industry (Ex. 5-20). OSHA believes that this provision will help to reduce the potential for fires.

At paragraph (e)(2)(vi) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the chain saw be started on the ground or where otherwise firmly supported. The provision is the same as the requirement contained in the proposal and the pulpwood logging standard. Two commenters opposed the requirement (Ex. 5-34, 5-35). One commenter stated:

In many instances, there is not any way to comply, i.e., when a cutter is felling while standing on springboard jacks, it would be a greater hazard for him to climb up carrying a running saw. This means that the chain saw must be started on the springboard with no place left to rest the saw. The same situation occurs when limbing and bucking large trees after they are on the ground. The cutter/ bucker would have to climb up on the trunk while carrying a running saw. The proposed standard should be amended to read "whenever possible" chain saws should be started [on the ground] (Ex. 5-34).

The other commenter said starting the chain saw on the ground was not necessarily the safest way to start it, and, in any event, saws equipped with chain brakes could be drop started when the chain brake is engaged (5-35). Another commenter said that they had had no injuries resulting from starting chains saws when standing in an upright position (Ex. 5-45).

For several reasons, OSHA believes that this provision is necessary to protect chain saw operators. First, the record supports the need for chain saws to be firmly supported when they are started. The WIR survey indicates that a significant portion of chain saw injuries were related to the operator not having firm control or grip of the saw (e.g., didn't have tight grip on saw, hand slipped into chain, operator fell on saw). While the survey does not indicate whether these injuries occurred while the operator was starting the saw, the presence of these injuries does reinforce the need for appropriate work practices that require proper support for equipment so the operator is able to maintain a firm grip and control of the saw.

Second, OSHA believes that there is a potential for injury when operators attempt to drop-start chain saws. There is a potential for the operator to lose his grip when starting the saw. In addition, especially when the saw is not properly adjusted, the engine can flood. This can cause the saw to fly upward and hit the operator. When the chain saw starts there is potential for sudden movement of the chain because of the increase in rpm. Third, while OSHA believes that starting the chain saw on the ground will provide the best control and support, OSHA is aware that there may be some circumstances in which a chain saw cannot be started in this manner. Nonetheless, even in those circumstances, OSHA believes that it is necessary for operator safety that the saw be firmly supported. Fourth, even when the chain brake is on, the saw needs to be firmly supported when it is started. When the chain saw is started, the chain will move until the engine returns to idle. If the chain saw is not firmly supported when the operator starts the engine, he could lose control of the saw and the moving chain could strike and injure him.

At paragraph (e)(2)(vii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that chain brakes be engaged when the saw is started. Although this requirement was not contained in the proposed rule, OSHA believes it is necessary for chain brakes to be engaged when the engine is started. As discussed above, when chain saws are started, the chain will run momentarily. When a chain brake is present, it will hold the chain when the engine returns to idle. However, when the chain brake is not engaged, the chain may continue to run at idle, further exposing the operator to the hazard. OSHA believes that the many comments recommending that the final rule require chain saws to be equipped with chain brakes, also imply that the chain brakes should be properly engaged during use of the chain saw. In addition, none of those commenters supporting a chain brake provision indicated that there were situations in which it would be safe to allow the chain brake not to be engaged during operation of the saw.

At paragraph (e)(2)(viii) of the final standard, OSHA is requiring that the operator hold the chain saw with both hands during operation. This requirement does not apply when the employer can demonstrate that a greater hazard is posed by keeping both hands on the saw in that particular situation. This provision is the same as the provision contained in the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also recognized the occasional need for momentary release of one hand from the saw in some situations.

Some commenters urged OSHA to require that a chain saw must never be operated with only one hand (Ex. 5-34, 5-50, 5-66). One commenter said:

Regardless of what organization recognizes and sanctions momentary one-handed chain saw use, it is extremely dangerous. I do not agree it is necessary to operate a saw with one hand and place a wedge with the other. By so doing, the right hand is on the pistol grip controlling the throttle, the left handling the wedge. If, during this one-handed process a kick back should occur, the left hand which has the primary responsibility for maintaining a distance between the operator and the saw chain is absent. Sufficient time exists between the initiation of the backcut and its completion for the cutter to momentarily halt his sawing to insert a wedge (Ex. 5-66).

The U.S. Dept. of Interior also said that chains saws should be held with both hands unless the motor is at idle (Ex. 5-50). It is not difficult for chain-saw operators to put the saw in idle before removing one hand from the saw. Before placing a wedge the feller can stop the chain by simply removing his finger from the throttle, that will idle the chain saw, thereby reducing the possibility of injury resulting from operating the saw with only one hand. OSHA agrees that in this situation as well as most other operating situations, the greater hazard is posed by removing the hand from the chain saw. According to the WIR survey, 13 percent of chain-saw operators injured reported that their hand slipped into the chain or they did not have a tight grip on the saw. However, OSHA believes there are other situations in which the hazard may be greater if the operator attempts to hold the saw with two hands. For example, when an operator has climbed a tree to top the tree, the operator may not be able to keep his balance if he tries to operate the saw with both hands. In that case, the safest method may be to use one hand to control the saw and the other hand to steady himself.

OSHA notes that the employer bears the burden of demonstrating that a greater hazard exists by keeping both hands on the saw in a particular situation. OSHA also notes that the limited exception involves a case-by-case determination by the employer.

At paragraph (e)(2)(ix) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the chain saw operator be certain of his footing before starting to cut. This provision also requires that the chain saw not be operated in a position or at a distance that could cause the operator to become off-balance, to have insecure footing, or to relinquish a firm grip on the saw. This provision adopts requirements contained in the proposed rule. Commenters supported this provision (Ex. 5-7, 5-21, 5-34, 5-36, 5-55), and there were no comments opposing this requirement.

OSHA believes this work practice will help to reduce the number of slip and fall injuries occurring in the logging industry. According to the WIR survey, slips and falls account for 24 percent of all injuries and 13 percent of all chain saw injuries reported resulting from operators falling on the saw.

At paragraph (e)(2)(x) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that prior to felling a tree the chain saw operator clear away brush or other potential obstacles that might interfere with cutting or using the retreat path. This provision adopts the requirement contained in the proposed rule. There were no comments opposing this requirement. OSHA believes this provision will help to reduce the number of injuries that result from loggers being hit by trees. According to the WIR survey, 24 percent of all injured loggers were hit by trees (Ex. 2-1). In addition, of employees reporting injuries, over one-fourth said that heavy brush, ground cover and hidden wood on the ground had contributed to their accident.

At paragraph (e)(2)(xi) of the final rule, OSHA is prohibiting cutting directly overhead with a chain saw. This provision was contained in the proposed rule. Several commenters supported the proposed provision (Ex. 5-34, 5-42, 9-10) and no comments were received opposing it.

At paragraph (e)(2)(xii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the chain saw be carried in a manner that will prevent operator contact with the chain and muffler. The proposed rule contained the same requirement. Evidence in the record suggests that this work practice already is being used extensively in the logging industry (Ex. 5-66). Some commenters said that for many years chain saw operators have carried the saw on their shoulder and used a felt and/or leather pad to protect their neck and shoulder from being cut by the chain or burned by the hot engine (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-63). OSHA notes that any other method of carrying the chain saw that prevents these hazards would also meet this requirement.

In paragraphs (e)(2)(xiii) and (xiv) of the final rule, OSHA is specifying requirements for carrying a chain saw. In paragraph (e)(2)(xiii), OSHA is requiring that the chain saw be shut off or at idle before the operator starts a retreat after cutting a tree. This provision also clarifies OSHA's intent that these work practices apply not only to carrying the saw between cuts but also to retreating after a cut has been made. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule.

NIOSH supported this provision, and further recommended that OSHA should require the chain brake to be engaged when an operator is moving from one location to another, except while working on the same tree or log, regardless of distance traveled (Ex. 5-42). Another commenter also supported the NIOSH recommendation (Ex. 5-52). However, three other commenters opposed requiring saws to be at idle or shut off before starting a retreat (Ex. 5-7, 5-50, 5-66). One commenter said:

The cutter may lose precious seconds worrying about compliance with the proposed standard, meanwhile a life could be in danger. Better to immediately remove the cutter from the base of the tree than worry about the saw (Ex. 5-50).

OSHA believes that the requirement that chain saws be shut off or at idle before starting a retreat is necessary and can be accomplished without creating additional hazards for the operator. First, OSHA believes that carrying a chain saw with the chain moving may present a great hazard for the operator. The WIR survey indicates that a significant portion of chain saw injuries result from the operator falling on the saw, the saw chain contacting the employee, or the operator's hand slipping into the chain (Ex. 2-1).

Second, as OSHA explained in the preamble to the proposed rule, the saw can be at idle rather than shut off, provided that the chain brake is engaged. OSHA is allowing operators to comply by either method because it recognizes that idling the saw with the chain brake engaged is as effective as shutting off the engine in terms of preventing serious lacerations due to coming into contact with the moving chain.

Third, OSHA does not think that idling the saw will add a significant amount of time to the operator's retreat. All the operator must do to idle the chain saw and safely carry it is to release pressure on the throttle and grasp the front handle. Fourth, in any event, chain saws are designed to be carried by the front handle rather than by the rear throttle. Carrying the saw by the front handle is easier and there is no risk of the bar tip contacting the operator's leg or toe. Carrying the saw by the rear throttle guard can cause the bar tip to swing downward and possibly strike the operator. Therefore, OSHA believes that the operator should grasp the front handle thereby idling the saw. That way the operator will both protect himself from a falling tree and from saw lacerations without undue difficulty.

Paragraph (e)(2)(xiv) of the final rule requires that when the operator must carry the chain saw further than 50 feet that the chain brake be engaged or, if there is no chain brake, that the saw be shut off. This provision also requires that the chain brake be engaged or the saw shut off when carrying a saw for a lesser distance if conditions, such as but not limited to, the terrain, underbrush and slippery surfaces, may create a hazard for an employee.

The proposed rule also contained these provisions. The 1978 ANSI logging standard required that chain saws be shut off when carried for a distance greater than from tree to tree. In addition the ANSI standard also required that when the terrain and other physical factors, such as underbrush and slippery surfaces, make the carrying of a running saw for such short distances, the saw shall be shut off for carrying. Some State logging standards also require the chain saw to be shut off or at idle when moving from tree to tree (Ex. 2-18, 2-22). For example, the State of Washington logging standard requires that after the chain-saw operator has felled the tree, the saw must be shut off or at idle while moving to another tree (Ex. 2-22). This standard also requires the chain saw to be shut off when moving to the next tree when hazardous conditions are present.

Some commenters supported this provision (Ex. 5-27, 5-42, 5-66). One of these commenter said that their experience had been that a chain-saw operator could carry a chain saw any distance without being injured, provided the chain brake was engaged (Ex. 5-27). Another commenter supported the provision because carrying a running chain saw any distance promotes additional fatigue that can also contribute to accidents and errors (Ex. 5-66). The reasoning and explanation for shutting off chain saws before beginning retreat also applies to carrying chain saws for longer distances. According to the WIR survey, 13 percent of all chain-saw operators were injured when they fell on their saws (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes this provision is necessary to reduce exposure to the hazard of a running chain-saw chain.

Paragraph (f) Machines

At paragraph (f) of this final rule, OSHA is promulgating requirements for stationary and mobile machines. These provisions include requirements for machine operation, protective structures, overhead guards, machine access, stability and reliability, exhaust systems and brakes. As previously defined, a machine is a piece of equipment having a self-contained powerplant that is operated off-road and used for the movement of material.

OSHA believes these machine requirements are necessary to protect operators and other employees who are in the area where machines are being operated. According to the FRSI, 20 percent of all serious logging injuries involved machines (Ex. 4-65). Of all serious injuries reported, almost eight percent of employees injured were struck by a logging machine or vehicle.

The record also shows that a significant number of logging employees are killed in machine accidents. The OSHA FCI report indicates that 17 percent of all employees were killed in machine accidents. The State of Washington fatality study in consistent with the FCI report. According to that study, almost 20 percent of the employee deaths resulted from machine rollover or being struck by a machine (Ex. 4-129).

General Requirements

At paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring the employer to assure that each machine used by an employee is maintained and inspected so that the machine remains in serviceable condition. The employer must assure that any machine is inspected before initial use during a workshift, and that defects or damage be repaired or the unserviceable machine be replaced before work is commenced. Maintenance and inspection requirements were also contained in the proposed standard.

Some commenters supported the general maintenance and inspection requirement for each machine (Ex. 5-10, 5-16). For example, one commenter said that daily cleaning and inspection of machines was a necessary element of fire prevention as well as other workplace protection (Ex. 5-10).

OSHA believes that the reasoning and explanation for the maintenance and inspection requirements for PPE and hand and portable powered tools also applies to machines. (See discussion above of paragraphs (d)(1)(i), d(1)(ii), (e)(1)(i), and (e)(1)(ii).) As with tools and PPE, OSHA is imposing on the employer the obligation of assuring that machines are in serviceable condition. This obligation applies regardless of whether the employer or employee provides the machine.

OSHA notes that because a general machine maintenance and inspection requirement has been included in the final rule, the Agency has deleted from the final rule proposed maintenance and/or inspection requirements for any particular machine safety feature.

At paragraph (f)(1)(iii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the employer assure that operating and maintenance instructions are available on the machine or in the area where the machine is being operated. This paragraph also requires that each machine operator and maintenance employee comply with the instructions. The pulpwood logging standard and the proposal both specified that instructions be kept with each machine. The proposed rule also contained a provision requiring operators and maintenance personnel to comply with the instructions.

Some commenters supported the proposed provision, however, other commenters opposed requiring that instructions be kept on machines. These comments have been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

Machine Operation

At (f)(2)(i) of this final rule, OSHA is requiring that machines be operated only by designated persons. As explained above, a designated person is an employee who has the requisite knowledge, training and experience to perform specific duties.

OSHA has included this provision in the final rule for two reasons. First, this provision must be read in conjunction with the training requirements in the final rule. The training provisions require that each machine operator be trained and demonstrate the ability to safely operate a machine before he/she is allowed to work independently. This provision reinforces the requirement that the employer not allow untrained personnel to operate machines. Second, training and skill are particularly necessary in an industry when machines are being operated in adverse weather conditions and on steep or unlevel terrain. Employees who have not been trained to safely operate a logging machine under such conditions could injure themselves or others. As noted earlier, over one-third of all employees reporting injuries in the WIR survey had never received any kind of training (Ex. 2-1).

In paragraphs (f)(2)(ii), (iii) and (iv) of the final rule, OSHA is specifying various requirements regarding stability limitations for machines. Stability limitations of machines used in logging are determined by three factors: (1) load size; (2) what is done with the load when it is being handled; and (3) the physical environment in which the machine is being operated. These requirements address each of those factors.

In paragraph (f)(2)(ii), OSHA is requiring that stationary logging machines and their components be anchored or otherwise stabilized to prevent movement during operation. The proposed standard contained a provision requiring that stability limitations of machines not be exceeded. The proposed standard also contained a provision specifying that truck and crawler mounted rigid boom cranes and other yarders meet the stability requirements of the ANSI B30.2-1983 "Safety Code for Cranes, Derricks and Hoists -- Overhead and Gantry Cranes" or the ANSI B30.5-1982 "Safety Code for Cranes, Derricks and Hoists -- Crawler, Locomotive and Truck Cranes." The pulpwood logging standard required only that the operator be advised as to the stability limitations of the machine. Several commenters pointed out that machines referenced in those standards were not used for logging operations (Ex. 5-17, 5-25, 5-29, 5-34, 5-51, 5-67).

In the final rule OSHA has deleted reference to the ANSI standards because those machines are covered elsewhere in part 1910. Overhead cranes are covered in 29 CFR 1910.179 and mobile cranes are covered in 29 CFR 1910.180. OSHA believes that these standards adequately spell out the requirements for safe operation when operating cranes. OSHA finds nothing indicating that the use of cranes is different from the rest of general industry, therefore, the Agency does not believe a special provision is necessary to address the logging industry. In addition, most of the machines referenced in the ANSI standards, overhead and gantry cranes, crawlers locomotive cranes and truck cranes; either are not used or are infrequently used in logging operations covered by this standard. OSHA also has deleted the proposed provisions on reliability and stability of cranes for the same reasons.

At paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the rated capacity of any machine not be exceeded. As discussed above, OSHA has defined rated capacity as the maximum load a system, vehicle, machine or piece of equipment was designed to handle. This provision was not explicitly contained in the proposed standard. Rather, it was implied as part of the requirement that machine operators comply with the operating manuals or instructions. The pulpwood logging standard, however, did require that operators at least be advised about the load capacity of machines.

OSHA believes that it is necessary to explicitly state this requirement in the final standard. When the rated capacity of the machine is exceeded, rollover and tipover accidents occur. As discussed above, many logging injuries and deaths are the result of machine rollover accidents. The State of Washington study showed that nine percent of the reported logging fatalities resulted from machine rollover accidents (Ex. 4-129). The OSHA FCI report also showed that 10 percent of fatalities were due to machine rollover accidents (Ex. 4-61). The Agency believes that it is not sufficient to merely inform operators of the machine's capacity, rather operators must be instructed that load capacities shall not be exceeded. As part of the training of machine operators, the operator also needs to be instructed on how to keep the load within the rated capacity and what foreseeable conditions or actions can affect the machine's rated capacity.

At paragraph (f)(2)(iv) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that no machine be operated on any slope that is greater than the maximum slope recommended by the manufacturer. In the proposed standard, this requirement was implied in the provision that operators comply with operating manuals or instructions. The pulpwood logging standard had specified that operators be advised of the stability limitations of the machine. As with the requirement on rated capacity, OSHA believes this provision is necessary to reduce the potential for machine rollover and tipover accidents. Therefore, the Agency has explicitly stated this requirement in the final standard.

At paragraph (f)(2)(v) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring the operator to determine that no employee is in the path of the machine before starting or moving the machine. This provision parallels the proposed rule. In the pulpwood logging standard, the operator was required to walk completely around the machine before start up to ensure no employee was in the area. There were no comments on the proposed requirement. OSHA believes this provision is necessary to reduce the number of accidents when employees are struck by machines. According to the State of Washington study, 10 percent of all logging fatalities occurred when employees were struck by machines (Ex. 4-129). The OSHA FCI report indicated similar results. Eight percent of the employees killed were struck by a logging machine (Ex. 4-61). Therefore, this requirement has been retained in the final rule.

At paragraph (f)(2)(vi) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the machine be started and operated only from the operator's station or as otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. This requirement adopts the provision contained in the proposed rule. Again, there were no comments opposing this provision. Under normal conditions, the only safe place for an operator to be during the use of a machine is at the operator's station. However, some types of material handling equipment have more than one operator's station. In those situations, the operator may choose which available operator's station to use when operating the machine.

At paragraph (f)(2)(vii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the machine be operated at such a distance from other employees and machines that a hazard is not created for any employee. This requirement parallels provisions contained in both the proposed standard and the pulpwood logging standard. OSHA did not receive any comment on the proposed requirement. The reasoning and explanation for checking the area before starting or moving a machine applies to this provision as well. The record shows that many employees are injured and killed when they are hit by logging machines (Ex. 2-1, 4-61, 4-129). Therefore, OSHA has adopted the provision as proposed.

At paragraphs (f)(2)(viii) and (ix) of the final rule, OSHA is prohibiting riders on machines and loads. At paragraph (f)(2)(viii), OSHA is specifying that no employee, other than the operator, be allowed to ride on the machine unless seating, seat belts and other protection equivalent to that provided for the operator is available for the rider. There were no comments opposing this provision. In paragraph (f)(2)(ix), OSHA is prohibiting riding on any load. These requirements parallel the provisions contained in the proposed rule. Several comments were received on these provisions and have been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

Paragraph (f)(2)(x) of the final rule requires that before any machine is shut down, the machine brake locks or parking brakes shall be applied. This provision also requires that each moving element, such as but not limited to, blades, buckets and shears, shall be grounded. As defined in the final rule, grounded means the placement of a component of a machine on the ground or on a device where it is firmly supported. This requirement was also contained in the pulpwood logging and the 1978 ANSI logging standards. The proposed rule would have required that the moving elements of any machine be lowered to the ground.

Several commenters said employers should be viewed in compliance with this provision if the moving element is placed in on a device on the equipment designed to hold moving elements in a stationary, secure position (Ex. 5-74 through 5-92). This is the method used to ground moving elements on certain machines, such as knuckleboom loaders. OSHA agrees with these commenters that it may be appropriate for the moving elements of a machine to be grounded if the moving elements can be placed on a device that can hold it in a stationary and secure position. However, in those situations when the machine does not have a device to place the moving element, the moving element must be lowered to the ground. OSHA believes this provision is necessary because the record shows that logging employees are injured and killed when they are crushed between equipment and equipment parts or struck by falling and swinging equipment components (Ex. 4-61).

Paragraph (f)(2)(xi) of the final rule requires that after each machine is shut down, pressure or stored energy from hydraulic and pneumatic storage devices shall be discharged. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement. OSHA believes this provision is necessary because if pressure or stored energy is not discharged water will accumulate in the storage device thereby decreasing the amount of fluid to carry out the function of the system. For example, many machines use air brake systems. If the compressed air reservoir fills up with water and displaces the air, there may not be enough air to stop the machine.

At paragraphs (f)(2)(xii) and (xiii) of this final rule, OSHA is adopting provisions for transporting machines. Paragraph (f)(2)(xii) requires that the rated capacity of any vehicle transporting a machine not be exceeded. Paragraph (f)(2)(xiii) requires that the machine be loaded, secured and unloaded so that it will not create a hazard for any employee. These provisions parallel requirements contained in the proposed rule. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing these requirements.

OSHA believes that the reasoning and explanation on machine rated capacity (paragraph (f)(2)(iii)) applies as well to transporting machines on trailers. Machines, as defined in this standard, are material handling equipment that are not operated on the public highways. Therefore, they must be transported on trailers across public roads from work site to work site. The loading and unloading of a machine on a trailer can be a hazardous event. The principal hazards occur due to rollover of the machine as it is driven up or down the trailer ramp or the ramp failing under the weight of the machine. Rollover can occur when a machine is not properly aligned when being driven onto or off a trailer or when the machine operator unsuccessfully attempts to make minor corrections in the direction of travel of the machine on the ramp. The latter case is particularly likely when the machine runs on tracks rather than wheels, and directional corrections are much more difficult to achieve. OSHA believes these machine transport provisions are necessary to prevent injury to machine operators and other employees in the area.

Protective Structures

At paragraph (f)(3) of this final rule, OSHA is adopting various requirements for protective structures on machines.

At paragraph (f)(3)(i) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the specified logging machines that are placed into initial service after the effective date of the final standard be equipped with falling object protective structures (FOPS) and/or rollover protective structures (ROPS). This provision applies to each tractor, skidder, swing yarder, log stacker, and mechanical felling device, such as a tree shear or feller-buncher. This provision combines the FOPS and ROPS requirements contained in the proposed standard. ROPS requirements are also contained in several State logging standards (Ex. 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-21, 2-22, 2-23, 38J, 38K). In addition, FOPS and ROPS requirements are contained in OSHA Construction Safety Standards, 29 CFR Part 1926, and Agriculture Safety Standards, 29 CFR Part 1928.

OSHA received many comments supporting the FOPS and ROPS requirement (Ex. 5-6, 5-7, 5-10, 5-19, 5-21, 5-22, 5-35, 5-36, 5-54, 5-74 through 5-92) and did not receive any comments opposing this provision in general. Many of the commenters addressed the issues of retrofitting machines with ROPS and FOPS and incorporation by reference of SAE standards have been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

One commenter said that the ROPS requirement should also apply to loaders on self-loading logging trucks (Ex. 5-7). However, three other commenters said this machine should be excluded from the requirement because the machine would not meet most state highway height restrictions if FOPS and/or ROPS were added to the operator station (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-49). OSHA agrees with these three commenters and has not expanded the FOPS and ROPS requirements to cover loaders on self-loading logging trucks.

The necessity of ROPS and FOPS on logging machines is not disputed. Steep terrain, slippery or uneven ground, large loads, top-heavy equipment with loads, and other environmental conditions and unsafe work practices increase the potential for logging machine rollover. ROPS reduce the likelihood that operators will be crushed in the event their machine rolls over. FOPS prevent falling objects such as trees, limbs and winch lines from penetrating the cab and injuring the operator. As OSHA noted in the preamble to the proposed rule, ROPS and FOPS are standard features on all currently manufactured logging machines.

Based on other comments in the record, OSHA has made the following changes to the ROPS and FOPS provision in the final rule:

1. The ROPS and FOPS requirements have been incorporated in one provision because the SAE FOPS standard (J231, January 1981) specifies that only machines equipped with ROPS can also be equipped with FOPS. The ROPS-FOPS requirement of the SAE standard was pointed out by three commenters (Ex. 5-16, 5-22, 5-57).

2. Machines only used in construction activities, such as road building, rather than logging operations have been deleted from this provision (e.g., graders, scrapers, bulldozers, front-end loaders). Construction machines and activities continue to be covered under 29 CFR Part 1926.

3. Forklift trucks have been deleted from this provision and included in a separate provision in the final standard (see paragraph (f)(4)). One commenter pointed out that forklift trucks were manufactured with overhead guards rather than ROPS and FOPS and, therefore, were not included in the SAE standards (Ex. 5-16, 5-47; Tr. W1 224)).

4. An exception to the ROPS and FOPS requirement has been added for machines capable of 360-degree rotation. Two commenters pointed out that the mast assembly of these machines, usually converted excavators, protects against machine rollover (Ex. 5-16, 5-22, 5-27, 5-39, 5-40, 5-49, 5-53, 5-63). In addition, the boom structure provides crush protection during rollover or tipover (Ex. 5-16).

At paragraphs (f)(3)(ii) and (iii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that ROPS and FOPS be tested, installed and maintained in accordance with the following Society of Automotive Engineers standards: "Performance Criteria for Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) for Construction, Earthmoving, Forestry, and Mining Machines" SAE J1040, April 1988; "Minimum Performance Criteria for Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS)" SAE J231, Jan 1981; and "Deflection Limiting Volume-ROPS/FOPS Laboratory Evaluation" SAE J397, April 1988. This incorporation by reference of SAE J1040; April 1988, SAE J231, Jan 1981, and SAE J397; April 1988, have been approved by the Office of the Federal Register, in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR Part 51. The final rule has been revised to reflect this approval and provides the requisite information regarding access to the text of SAE J1040, April 1988, SAE J231, 1981, and SAE J397, April 1988.

These provisions update the requirements contained in the proposed rule. OSHA received various comments on incorporating consensus standards by reference, and this issue has been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

In paragraph (f)(3)(v) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that the protective structure on each machine be of a size that does not impede the operator's normal movements in the cab. This provision parallels the provision contained in the proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision.

In paragraphs (f)(3)(vi) through (xii) specify requirements for enclosing the operator's cab. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing these provisions in general. One commenter did recommend that OSHA replace these provisions with a reference to the Society of Automotive Engineers J1084, April 1980, standard on force requirements for tractors and skidders (Ex. 5-16). However, since the SAE standard does not cover all of the machines referenced in paragraph (f)(3), OSHA has specified in the final rule the cab force requirements which are applicable to machines used in logging operations.

Paragraph (f)(3)(vi) of the final rule requires that the overhead covering of each cab be of solid material extending over the entire canopy. This provision parallels the requirement contained in the proposed rule.

Paragraph (f)(3)(vii) requires that the lower portion of the cab (up to the top of the instrument panel or 24 inches (60.9 cm) if there is no instrument panel) be completely enclosed, except at entrances, with solid material to prevent objects from entering the cab. The proposed rule stated generally that the lower portion of the cab be fully enclosed. One commenter said that what constitutes the "lower portion" of the cab should be specifically defined (Ex. 5-16). OSHA has incorporated the commenter's recommendation that the lower portion be defined as below the top of the instrument panel or at 24 inches.

Paragraph (f)(3)(viii) of the final rule requires that the upper portion of the cab be fully enclosed. The enclosure must be made of mesh material with openings no greater than 2 inches (5.08 cm) at its least dimension or other material that the employer demonstrates provides equivalent protection and visibility. This provision combines two requirements contained in the proposed rule: full enclosure of the upper rear portion of the cab and enclosure extending forward as far as possible from the rear corners of the cab sides. The proposed rule also required that the mesh material openings be no greater than 1 3/4 inches. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also required metal mesh when glass alone is not sufficient to provide operator protection. In the final rule, OSHA has combined these provisions because one commenter said that "upper rear portion" and "as far as possible" were not adequately defined (Ex. 5-16). In addition, OSHA has changed the final rule to allow mesh material with openings no greater than two inches, that one commenter pointed out is the accepted standard in the western States (See Ex. 2-22, 5-71, 38K).

Some commenters said that OSHA should limit the types of vehicles requiring mesh material (Ex. 5-74 through 5-92). They said mesh should not be required on front-end loaders, log stackers, forklifts, scrapers and graders. They contend some of these machines are used in log stacking areas where there is no danger of branches entering the cab. In the final rule, OSHA has deleted front-end loaders, trucks, graders, and scrapers from paragraph (f)(3) because they are used in performing construction activities rather than logging operations. With regard to log-stackers, OSHA believes it is necessary for these machines to be equipped with mesh material or equivalent protection. Log-stackers are used to raise and move trees as well as logs. In some cases trees are not topped until they are taken to the landing. When trees still contain branches, they could enter the cab and injure the operator if no cab protection is provided.

Paragraph (f)(3)(viii) of the final rule also specifies that the cab may be enclosed with a material other than mesh, provided the employer demonstrate that it provides equivalent protection and visibility. The proposed rule implied that transparent material could be used but did not specify what level of protection it must provide. The 1978 ANSI logging standard specified that when glass enclosures were used, they must be safety glass or its equivalent.

OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision. One commenter stated that many machines are already enclosed with other material, such as safety glass, that offers equivalent protection and visibility (Ex. 5-16). In addition, the Society of Automotive Engineers SAE J1084, April 1980, "Operator Protective Structure Performance Criteria for Certain Forestry Equipment, Recommended Practice" allows cabs to be enclosed with safety glass.

OSHA notes that the employer bears the burden of demonstrating that when transparent material, other than safety glass is used, that it provides both equivalent protection and visibility. Paragraph (f)(3)(ix) of the final rule requires that the upper cab enclosure allow maximum visibility. The proposed rule required that the upper cab enclosure allow maximum visibility to the rear. OSHA believes that it is necessary that the enclosure allow maximum visibility in all directions so that the operator and other employees in the area are not injured.

Paragraph (f)(3)(x) of the final rule requires that if transparent material, rather than mesh, is used to enclose the upper cab, it shall be of safety glass or other material that the employer demonstrates provides equivalent protection and visibility. This provision parallels the provision contained in the proposed rule. The proposed standard also specified that a metal screen must also be used where transparent material alone does not provide adequate protection. In the final rule, OSHA specifies the preferred transparent material (i.e. safety glass). OSHA agrees with various commenters that when safety glass is used, additional metal mesh screens are not necessary. The final rule does allow alternative material to be used, and makes clear OSHA's intent that it is the employer who bears the burden of proving that the alternative material provides protection and visibility that is equivalent to safety glass.

Paragraphs (f)(3)(xi) and (xii) of the final rule require that transparent material be kept clean and be replaced when it is cracked, broken, scratched or damaged in any other way that may create a hazard for the operator. These requirements parallel the provisions contained in the proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard.

Paragraph (f)(3)(xiii) of the final rule requires that deflectors be installed in front of each cab to deflect whipping saplings and branches. This provision also requires that deflectors be located so they do not impede visibility or access to the cab. This provision adopts the requirement contained in the proposed rule. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing the provision.

Paragraph (f)(3)(xiv) of the final rule requires that the height of each cab entrance be at least 52 inches, or 1.3 meters, from the floor of the cab. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. No commenters opposed this requirement.

Paragraph (f)(3)(xv) of the final rule requires that each machine operated near yarding systems (high lead and skyline) shall be equipped with sheds or roofs of sufficient strength to provide protection from breaking lines. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. There were no comments opposing this provision.

Overhead Guards

At paragraph (f)(4) of the final rule, OSHA is specifying that each forklift truck used in logging operations be equipped with an overhead guard. The overhead guard must meet the requirements of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B56.6-1987 (with addenda), "Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks." This incorporation by reference of ASME B56.6-1987, has been approved by the Office of the Federal Register, in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR Part 51. The final rule has been revised to reflect this approval and provides the requisite information regarding access to the text of ASME B56.6-1987.

In the proposed rule, OSHA had included forklift trucks in the provisions requiring installation of ROPS and FOPS. However, commenters informed OSHA that the manufacture of forklift trucks used in rough terrain conditions such as the logging industry are covered by the ASME standard (Ex. 5-22, 5-47, Tr. W1 224), and that forklift trucks are manufactured with overhead protection, rather than ROPS and FOPS (Ex. 5-47).

OSHA believes that this overhead protection requirement is necessary and will adequately protect logging forklift operators from falling objects. Since the mast assembly of the forklift truck prevents it from rolling onto its top, ROPS protection is not necessary. When accidents do occur, forklift trucks are more likely to tip over on their sides. OSHA believes that, in the event of a tipover, the seat belt requirement contained in this standard will prevent operators from being pinned or crushed by the truck or overhead guard by safely restraining them within the cab.

In paragraph (f)(4) OSHA has not included a provision excepting fork lift trucks placed into service before the final rule from being equipped with overhead guards. The manufacturing requirements for rough terrain forklift trucks have been in place since 1978. Since the useful life of these machines is approximately 10 years, OSHA is confident that almost all forklift trucks currently used in the logging industry do contain overhead guards meeting the ASME standard.

Machine Access

Paragraph (f)(5) of the final rule specifies various requirements regarding machine access. Paragraph (f)(5)(i) of the final rule requires that machine access be provided for each machine when the operator or another employee must climb onto the machine to enter the cab or an operating element to perform maintenance. This provision also requires that the machine access system meet the requirement of the SAE J185 June 1988, standard on "Recommended Practice for Access systems for Off-Road Machines." This incorporation by reference of SAE J185, June 1988, has been approved by the Office of the Federal Register, in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR Part 51. The final rule has been revised to reflect this approval and provides the requisite information regarding access to the text of SAE J185, June 1988.

The proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained machine access provisions. The proposed rule specified that steps, ladders, handhold, catwalks, or railings installed after the effective date of this standard comply with the SAE J185, June 1981, or be in accordance with a design by a professional engineer which offers equivalent employee protection. There were no comments opposing the proposed provision.

OSHA believes this provision is necessary to prevent logging injuries due to slips and falls. The WIR survey indicated that these types of injuries accounted for almost one-fourth of all logging injuries reported, and that 28 percent of all injuries resulting from falls involved machines and vehicles (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes that compliance with the SAE standard, in conjunction with work practices and training, will prevent these types of accidents. OSHA notes that in the final rule, the reference to the SAE standard has been updated from the 1981 to the 1988 edition.

Paragraph (f)(5)(ii) of the final rule requires that each machine cab have a second means of egress. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained this requirement. According to one commenter, nearly all logging machines currently in use have a second means of egress (Ex. 5-29). Therefore, OSHA does not believe compliance with this provision will be burdensome.

Paragraphs (f)(5)(iii) and (iv) of the final rule require that walking and working surfaces of each machine have slip resistant surfaces and be kept free of waste, debris and other material which might result in slipping, falling or fire. These requirements parallel provisions contained in the proposed rule.

OSHA received three comments opposing these provisions (Ex. 5-7, 5-22, 5-55). These commenters stated that the debris must be hazardous (Ex. 5-7) and that the requirement should be changed to indicate that the walkways of machines should be "substantially free" of debris (Ex. 5-55). As discussed above, slips, trips and falls account for a significant number of injuries in the logging industry. The Agency's primary intent in this provision is to minimize the potential for employees to slip, trip or fall when mounting or dismounting a machine. OSHA believes these provisions will reduce the hazards that result in those types of injuries. OSHA does not agree with the characterization implied by the commenters that this provision requires employers to keep every machine walking and working surface "spotless" at all times. OSHA is aware that in outdoors environments material may accumulate on machine surfaces. OSHA is only requiring that when such accumulated material might result in a fire or in an employee slipping or falling that it must be removed.

Exhaust Systems

Paragraph (f)(6) of the final rule contains various requirements regarding exhaust pipes and mufflers. Paragraphs (f)(6)(i) and (ii) of the final rule require that exhaust pipes on each machine be so located that exhaust is directed away from the operator, and be mounted or guarded to protect the employee from accidental contact. These provisions have been adopted from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing these provisions.

Paragraph (f)(6)(iii) of the final rule requires that exhaust pipes be equipped with spark arresters. This provision also provides that when an engine is equipped with a turbocharger, spark arresters are not required. The proposed rule also required a spark arrester for each machine, but did not make an exception for machines equipped with turbochargers.

Several commenters said that spark arresters were not needed when engines are turbocharged (Ex. 5-10, 5-16, 5-17, 5-22, 5-25, 5-27, 5-55, 5-74 through 5-92). These commenters said that the flow of exhaust gases through the turbocharger requires sufficient time for any sparks to be extinguished and unburned fuel and particulate matter to be burned. One commenter said that functional turbocharged engines do not produce exhaust sparks like normally aspirated engines (Ex. 5-27). For this reason, these commenters said turbochargers were an acceptable substitute for spark arresters (Ex. 5-16). In addition, the U.S. Forest Service allows turbochargers in lieu of spark arresters (Ex. 5-16). Based on this evidence, OSHA has incorporated an exception to the use of spark arresters when the machine engine is turbocharged.

Paragraph (f)(6)(iv) of the final rule requires that the muffler provided by the manufacturer, or the equivalent, be in place at all times the machine is in operation. This provision is the same as the corresponding provisions of the proposal and the pulpwood logging standard. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this requirement.

Brakes

Paragraph (f)(7) of the final rule specifies provisions regarding machine brakes. Paragraph (f)(7)(i) of the final rule requires that the brakes must be sufficient to hold each machine and its maximum load on the slopes on which the machine is being operated. As discussed above, rated capacity is the maximum load a machine was designed by the manufacturer to handle. This provision was adopted from the proposed rule. Machine brake provisions are also included in various State logging standards (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-22, 38J, 38K), and in the 1978 ANSI logging standard.

Several commenters supported this provision (Ex. 5-10, 5-16, 5-22). These commenters also said that OSHA should include provisions requiring brakes to meet certain criteria in respective SAE and ANSI standards.

The variety of terrain encountered in logging operations makes the adequacy of brakes a critical safety issue. For example, information presented in the preamble to the proposed rule indicated that an operator was unable to stop the machine he was operating on a slope and the machine rolled over (54 FR 18799-80). The injured operator was trapped in a cab for 45 minutes until he could be rescued. This provision requires that the braking system, that consists of the service and emergency brakes, must be adequate to hold the machine and its maximum allowable load on the slope. For certain machines (tractors and rubber tired skidders), employers can look to national consensus standards for guidance on brake system performance (See SAE J1041, October 1991, "Breaking System Test Procedure and Braking Performance Criteria for Agricultural Tractors" and SAE J1178, June 1987, "Braking Performance -- Rubber Tired Skidders"). However, these standards do not cover all machines used in logging operations. Therefore, OSHA is specifying certain minimum brake system requirements for all machines used in logging operations.

Paragraph (f)(7)(ii) requires that each machine be equipped with a secondary braking system, such as an emergency brake or parking brake. This provision also requires that the secondary system be effective in stopping the machine and maintaining parking performance, regardless of the direction of travel or of whether the engine is running. These requirements parallel the provisions contained in the proposed rule. These provisions are also contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard. There were no comments opposing these provisions.

Guarding

Paragraphs (f)(8)(i) and (ii) of the final standard requires that each machine be equipped with guarding to protect employees from exposed moving elements and flying objects. These provisions also require that guarding must meet the requirements specified in subpart O of part 1910. These provisions clarify that guarding requirement also applies to each machine used in debarking, limbing and chipping. The proposed standard also contained a provision requiring machine guarding. The 1978 ANSI logging standard contained a similar requirement.

Three commenters stated that the provision should be applied only to stationary equipment to prevent misapplication to mobile equipment (Ex. 5-10, 5-22, 5-57). OSHA believes the record does not support the commenters' recommendation. The Agency believes that both mobile and stationary machines pose a risk of injury due to exposure to moving parts. According to the WIR survey, a significant number of employee injuries involved mobile equipment (Ex. 2-1). OSHA believes that employees working with or near both types of machine need to be protected. Additionally, requiring all machines to be guarded eliminates the ambiguity as to whether a machine is stationary or mobile (e.g. mobile machines that are used in place, such as a trailer mounted chipper).

OSHA notes that guarding satisfies the requirements of subpart O when it is in the form of a specially constructed and installed barrier or when the structure of the machine itself prevents employee contact with the moving element of the machine. Each machine shall be equipped with guarding to protect employees from exposure to moving elements, such as but not limited to, shafts, pulleys, belts on conveyors, and gears, in accordance with the requirements of subpart O of part 1910.

Paragraph (f)(8)(iii) of the final rule requires that the guarding on each machine be in place at all times the machine is in operation. This provision was contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard. This provision makes explicit OSHA's intent in the proposed rule that machines be equipped with guarding and that such guarding not be removed or otherwise disabled while the machine is in operation. If machine guarding is removed or disabled, employees still remain exposed to the danger of moving elements and flying objects when they are near or using the machine. OSHA believes the reasoning and explanation for requiring that chain-saw chain brakes be engaged when starting the machine and not be removed is also applicable to this provision.

Paragraph (g) Vehicles

At paragraph (g) of the final rule, OSHA has included various requirements regarding vehicles when used off public roads in logging operations. OSHA has decided to include a separate paragraph on vehicles in this final rule because of the confusion commenters said existed in the definition and requirements regarding "mobile equipment" verses "motor vehicles" in the proposed rule (Ex. 5-16, 5-18, 5-19, 5-22). Certain of the proposed provisions on vehicles were limited to personnel transport vehicles. In the final rule, OSHA has defined vehicles to include trucks and trailers used to transport logs and machines, as well as personnel transport vehicles. Therefore, the provisions covering vehicles apply to all vehicles used in any logging operation. OSHA believes that the reasoning and explanation supporting the need for protection for those in personnel transport vehicles also apply to operators and passengers of other vehicles.

OSHA received some comment that employee-provided vehicles should be excepted from the standard's vehicle requirements (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39). OSHA has not distinguished between employer-provided and employee-provided equipment anywhere in this standard. OSHA believes that when any equipment is used in logging operations, the employer is responsible for assuring that it is in proper working condition. However, this final standard does not address the personal vehicle an employee drives on public roads. By contrast, when the employer allows employees to use their own vehicles to transport themselves and other employees off public roads to and from logging work sites rather than providing such transportation, those vehicles are exposed to the unique hazards of logging operations. Such vehicles must be adequately equipped and properly running, just as employer provided vehicles must be, in order to cross what may be difficult terrain and other hazardous conditions encountered enroute to and from the logging site. The OSH Act imposes on the employer the responsibility for compliance with standards and for assuring safe conditions in the workplace, even if the employee provides the vehicle for the logging operation.

OSHA believes it is necessary in the final rule to specify requirements for vehicles used to transport employees off public roads and vehicles used to perform logging operations. The record shows that a number of injuries and fatalities have occurred in the logging industry that involve vehicles (Ex. 2-1, 4-61, 4-129).

At paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2), OSHA is requiring the employer to assure that each vehicle used to transport employees off public roads or to perform any logging operation, including vehicles provided by employees, is maintained, and is inspected before initial use during a workshift. These provisions also require that defects or damage be repaired or the vehicle be replaced before work is started. These are the same general maintenance and inspection as required for machine and tools. OSHA believes that the explanation and reasoning for including these provisions in the paragraphs covering PPE, tools and machine apply here as well. (See discussion above of paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(ii), (e)(1)(i), (e)(1)(ii), (f)(1)(i), and (f)(1)(ii).) OSHA has included paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) in the final rule in an effort to clarify its proposed intention. As stated above, commenters said it was not clear in the proposed rule whether the definition of "mobile equipment" included both machines and vehicles, and therefore, whether the general maintenance and inspection requirements applied to both types of equipment. "Mobile equipment" was defined in the proposal as that kind of equipment that includes mobility as a part of its work function. In the final rule, OSHA is defining machines and vehicles separately, and placing the requirements governing each in different paragraphs. In making these clarifications, however, the Agency emphasizes that all mobile equipment used in logging operations, whether vehicles or machines, must operate properly, and that maintenance and inspections are needed to assure that only properly functioning mobile equipment is used.

Paragraph (g)(3) of the final rule requires that the employer assure that operating and maintenance instructions are available in each vehicle. This provision also requires that each vehicle operator and maintenance employee comply with the instructions. These are the same provisions as required for machines. OSHA believes that the explanation and reasoning for including these provisions in the paragraph covering machines applies to vehicles as well. (See discussion above of paragraph (f)(1)(iii).) Paragraph (g)(4) of the final rule requires that the employer assure that each vehicle operator has a valid operator's license for the class of vehicle being operated. This provision applies to all vehicle operators, not just employees who operate personnel transport vehicles. The proposal applied the licensing requirement only to personnel transport vehicle operators and no comments opposing the requirement were received.

OSHA believes that it is also essential that an employee operating any type of vehicle possess a current license for that vehicle. Any employee operating a vehicle for logging operations needs to have met the necessary qualifications and shown that they have operated the vehicle in a manner responsible enough to maintain a current license. This provision ensures that the employee has the proper kind of license for the type of vehicle being operated and the load being carried.

Paragraph (g)(5) of the final rule requires that mounting steps and handholds be provided on each vehicle whenever it is necessary to prevent an employee from being injured while entering or leaving the vehicle. The proposed rule specified that mounting steps and handholds be provided for every personnel transport vehicle. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar provision.

One commenter opposed applying this provision to pickup trucks (Ex. 5-51). This commenter said steps would rip off of high center pickup trucks during the ride. In addition this commenter said that steps would prevent access of fire fighting vehicles to roads that have water barriers or speed bumps. OSHA does not believe the record supports the exceptions recommended by the commenter. First, according to the WIR survey, 13 percent of all injuries resulted from falls from vehicles (Ex. 2-1). Second, there are mounting steps for vehicles used in logging operations that can be retractable or high enough to prevent contact with the ground while the vehicle is moving. In addition, the record does not indicate that there are many speed bumps on logging roads. OSHA is aware that mounting steps and handholds may not be necessary for every vehicle. OSHA is only requiring mounting steps when there is a danger that an employee could be injured while entering or leaving the vehicle without being provided with such assistance.

Paragraph (g)(6) of the final rule requires that each seat be securely fastened to the vehicle. The final rule adopts the proposed requirement and applies it to all vehicles used in logging operations. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained this requirement. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision.

Paragraph (g)(7) of the final rule requires applies the requirements of paragraphs (f)(2)(iii), (f)(2)(v), (f)(2)(vii), (f)(2)(x), (f)(2)(xiii) and paragraph (f)(7) to each vehicle used to transport any employee off public roads or to perform any logging operation, including any vehicle provided by an employee. OSHA believes these general work practices and brake requirements are necessary to prevent accidents involving vehicles as well as machines. OSHA believes the reasoning and explanation for including these general provisions in the paragraph covering machines applies here as well.

Paragraph (h) Tree Harvesting

At paragraph (h) of the final rule, OSHA establishes various general and specific work practice requirements regarding tree harvesting. OSHA believes these work practice requirements are necessary, especially given the high injury rate in the logging industry. According to the WIR survey, in more than two-thirds of all reported injuries unsafe working practices contributed to the accident (Ex. 2-1). The work practices specified in this paragraph address those work practices that when not used contributed to accidents such as those reported in the WIR survey (e.g., co-worker activity, working too fast, misjudging time or distance to avoid injury, using wrong cutting method).

OSHA notes that those provisions in the proposed rule that specified requirements other than work practices (e.g., equipment specifications) have been moved to the applicable equipment specification paragraphs of the final rule.

General Requirements

Paragraph (h)(1)(i) requires that trees not be felled in a manner that may create a hazard for an employee, such as, but not limited to, falling on an employee, or striking a rope, cable, power line or machine. The proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard contained similar provisions. The proposed rule required that trees not be felled in a manner that could endanger an employee.

Three commenters said that the proposed provision was too broad to be useful since they believed all felling activities are dangerous (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-63). While OSHA agrees that it may not be possible to eliminate all hazards in a workplace, the employer does have the responsibility to prevent or minimize hazards the employer can reasonably anticipate. To comply with this provision, it is incumbent on the employer to train employees in proper felling work practices and to point out when employee actions or workplace conditions could create hazards for employees.

Paragraph (h)(1)(ii) requires that the immediate supervisor be consulted before felling is commenced, whenever unfamiliar or unusually hazardous conditions necessitate the supervisor's approval. The final rule adopts the provision contained in the proposed rule. One commenter supported the proposed requirement (Tr. W1 85). He said that consulting supervisors when heavy accumulations of snow are present would prevent injuries. OSHA believes that unusual, hazardous situations may arise during felling operations and the supervisor should be involved in making decisions about the safest way to fell a tree. These situations may include, but are not limited to, felling very large or tall trees; cutting trees whose lean, location or structure make it difficult to fell in the desired or a safe direction. Adding the supervisor's knowledge, training and experience to the decision-making process should help to minimize the hazards to loggers. In addition, this consultation process is especially important when logging crews are relatively new and may not have dealt with such situations before.

Paragraph (h)(1)(iii) of the final rule requires that no yarding machine be operated within two tree lengths of any tree being manually felled. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement.

Several commenters raised questions about or discussed this provision (Ex. 5-12, 5-43, 5-67; Tr. W1 104, W2 197). None of the commenters denied that yarding machine operators may be endangered when they operate too close to manual felling activities. However, two commenters stated that the provision should be revised because, in some circumstances, the assistance of a yarding machine is necessary to assure that the tree is felled in the desired direction or to keep the area clear (Ex. 5-12, 5-67). For example, one commenter said that failure of yarders to clear an area of a build up of felled trees or logs can result in timber breakage or can pose problems for fellers working on slopes (Ex. 5-67).

In general, OSHA believes that allowing yarding machines within two tree lengths of trees being manually felled would pose a risk of harm to both the machine operator and the feller. First, a manual feller who is cutting a tree is concentrating on that work activity and not on other logging activities in the area. If that tree were to fall on a yarding machine that is too close to a manual felling operation, the machine operator could be injured by the tree. Second, it also is important for their own safety that manual fellers work at a safe distance from yarding activities. Yarder operators and chasers and choker setters concentrating on slinging and moving logs could cause injury to the feller if a tree or log were to shift, roll or slide suddenly.

Third, yarding machine operators are often working downhill from manual fellers. It may be dangerous for the operator to approach the feller because the falling tree could roll or slide into the machine. Fourth, the requirements of this paragraph can still be met even where the feller and yarder work as a team. After the feller has cut a tree and is moving on to size up another tree for cutting, the yarder can remove the felled tree before the feller begins cutting the next tree. The feller should check to make sure the yarder has removed the tree out of the work area before he starts cutting. Therefore, OSHA believes that its general rule that each work area be separated by at least two tree lengths should also apply to yarding and manual felling operations.

One commenter, who said that "cat skidding crews" in the northwest work in close proximity of tree fellers, suggested that this provision should allow skidding directly away from a timber feller as long as the feller is not actively trying to fell a tree (Ex. 5-43). OSHA notes that the final rule does not prohibit what the commenter suggests. The final rule only says that yarding machines shall not be within a two-tree length distance while manual felling is in progress. The final rule does not prohibit the yarding operator from clearing logs when the feller is not engaged in cutting trees. While the feller is moving onto the next tree and assessing its condition, this provision allows yarder operators to remove the trees that have been felled, provided that the other requirements or this paragraph have been met (e.g., the feller acknowledging that it is safe for the yarder to enter the work area).

Paragraph (h)(1)(iv) of the final standard requires that no employee approach a felling operation closer than two tree lengths of the tree being felled until the feller acknowledges it is safe to do so. This provision includes an exception to the two-tree length requirement when the employer demonstrates that a team of employees is necessary to manually fell a particular tree. The proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained provisions specifying that employees remain two tree lengths from the feller. The proposed rule did not contain the felling team exception.

Several commenters urged OSHA to permit exceptions to the two tree-length requirement (Tr. W1 152, 183-86, W2 163, OR 126). These commenters discussed, for example, the need for shovelers to work in conjunction with fellers.

OSHA believes the two tree-length distance requirement is necessary for several reasons. First, a feller may not be aware of approaching employees due to noise or the feller's concentration on the work. It is therefore possible that employees may inadvertently enter an area where a tree is falling. This could result in injury to the approaching employee, and even to the feller if he attempts to take corrective action. According to the WIR survey, six percent of employees injured reported that co-worker activity had contributed to the accident (Ex. 2-1). The State of Washington study indicated that eight percent of employees who were killed were hit by a tree being felled by another employee (Ex. 4-129). According to the OSHA FCI report, nine logging employees were killed when they were struck by a tree that was being cut by another logger (Ex. 4-61). Second, an approaching employee could be injured if he is unaware of or misjudges the falling direction of a tree. The feller is the best judge of the direction that a tree is likely to fall and, therefore, should be the one to signal when a work area is safe. Third, approaching employees could be injured if a tree were to inadvertently fall in the wrong direction. The best way for employees to prevent such injury is to remain clear of the work area while the felling operation is being conducted. Once the felling of the tree is completed, the feller can signal that it is safe for other employees to approach. Therefore, OSHA believes the safer approach for both the feller and other employees is to wait until the feller has acknowledged it is safe to enter the felling area.

OSHA has included an exception to this rule for particular situations when more than one employee is needed to manually fell a particular tree. However, OSHA notes that this exception covers only manual fellers and those whom the employer demonstrates are needed to assist in manually felling a tree (e.g., shovelers). It does not include mechanical felling operations and it does permit machines to enter the manual felling area. In those situations, paragraphs (h)(1)(iii) and (h)(1)(v) apply. If a machine is necessary to push or pull over a tree, the manual feller must move at least two tree lengths away and must not enter the area until the machine operator acknowledges that it is safe. OSHA notes that this is not a blanket exception for all team felling activities. The general rule is that no person is to approach a feller until the feller has indicated it is safe to do so. The exception is meant to be applied on a case-by-case basis. That is, the employer bears the burden of demonstrating that a particular tree or a particular felling situation requires a team. Only then is more than one person allowed within the immediate work area. In addition, the employer bears the burden of showing that a team is necessary to manually fell the tree in that particular situation.

Paragraph (h)(1)(v) of the final rule requires that no employee approach a mechanical felling operation closer than two tree lengths of the tree being felled until the machine operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so. The proposed rule required that employees remain clear of any mechanical felling operation.

OSHA received many comments recommending that OSHA apply the two tree-length minimum work distance to mechanical felling operations as well (Ex. 5-18, 5-21, 5-34, 5-36, 5-39, 5-63, 5-74 through 5-92; Tr. W2 163, 197). These commenters said that such distance was needed, for example, to protect other employees from flying metal fragments from broken mechanical disc saw blades. In addition, the reasoning and explanation supporting the distance requirement for approaching fellers also applies to this provision. For example, a feller-buncher operator who is not expecting an employee to enter the work area may move in reverse and not see the employee in time to prevent an accident. OSHA has therefore added the two tree-length distance requirement to this provision of the final rule.

Paragraph (h)(1)(vi) of the final rule requires that each danger tree, including lodged trees and snags, be felled, removed or avoided. When the danger tree is felled or removed, it must be felled or removed using mechanical or other techniques that minimize employee exposure before felling is commenced in the area of the danger tree. When the danger tree is avoided, it must be marked and no work be conducted within two tree lengths of the danger tree, unless the employer demonstrates that a shorter distance will not create a hazard for an employee. As defined in the final rule, a danger tree includes any standing tree that presents a hazard to employees due to conditions such as, but not limited to, deterioration or damage to the tree, and direction or lean of the tree.

The proposed rule required that lodged trees be marked and lowered to the ground using mechanical or other safe techniques before any work is continued within two tree lengths of the lodged tree. The proposed rule did not allow any exceptions to the two tree-length distance. Many State logging standards include requirements to fell danger trees or not to commence work within a two tree-length distance of the danger tree (Ex. 2-19, 2-20, 2-22, 38J, 38K).

The record shows that danger trees pose many hazards for employees. According to the WIR survey, 15 percent of those injured said that the dangerous conditions of the tree had contributed to their accident (Ex. 2-1). The OSHA FCI report indicated that 23 logging employees were killed by danger trees (Ex. 4-61).

OSHA received several comments on this proposed provision (Ex. 5-7, 5-21, 5-34, 5-39, 5-43, 5-74 through 5-92, 17; Tr. W1 187, W2 6-7). Some commenters supported the provision (Ex. 5-39, 5-34). Some commenters suggested that this provision conflicts with other federal regulations requiring retention of some "snags" to preserve wildlife habitats in the area (Ex. 5-7, 5-27, 5-39, Tr. W2 6) and Rep. Jolene Unsoeld commented that OSHA should attempt to harmonize the final rule with various environmental regulations (Ex. 17, 31). Other commenters said that OSHA's provision was excessive in those situations when a tree is securely lodged a few feet above the ground (Ex. 5-21, 5-74 through 5-92; Tr. W1 187, W2 6-7). Another commenter said that prohibiting any felling within two tree-lengths of a danger tree would take a large volume of timber out of production, especially strips of trees on steep slopes (Ex. 5-43).

OSHA has addressed the commenters' concerns in the final rule. First, OSHA is more explicitly stating in the final rule that dangers trees may be avoided, when necessary, rather than being felled or removed. OSHA believes that this requirement harmonizes with and does not conflict with the rules and regulations of other Federal agencies. The U.S. Department of the Interior participated in this rulemaking and did not indicate that this provision was in conflict with their regulations (Ex. 5-50). The change to the final rule further clarifies OSHA's proposed intent that danger trees do not have to be felled or removed. This provision of the final rule only requires two actions of the employer. One, when the employer wishes to fell a danger tree, it must be removed or felled before other trees in the area are felled. Two, when the employer elects not to fell or remove a danger tree, the employer must not conduct any other felling in that area. Therefore, when other regulations require the preservation of a particular snag, this final standard requires only that fellers be protected from potential injury from the snag. This is accomplished by keeping all other felling activity out of the immediate area of that snag.

Second, in the final rule OSHA has addressed the concerns of other commenters by allowing work to commence within two tree lengths of a marked danger tree, provided that the employer demonstrates that a shorter distance will not create a hazard for an employee. This change will assure the safety of logging employees without removing significant timber from production. OSHA notes that the employer bears the burden of demonstrating that a distance of less than two tree lengths will not create a hazard for an employee. Supervisors should actively participate in identifying and training employees about providing safe distances. Whether a shorter distance does create a hazard is a case-by-case determination. What constitutes a safe distance for other work to be conducted will require an evaluation of various factors such as, but not limited to, the size of the danger tree, how secure it is, its condition, the slope of the work area, and the presence of other employees in the area. For example, excessive root deterioration or damage might indicate that the danger tree is unstable and that there is a possibility it could fall. In such case, a two tree-length distance would be required.

Some commenters recommended that OSHA designate dislodging a tree by felling another one into it as a safe technique "in certain situations" (Ex. 5-74 through 5-92). However, these commenters did not identify any situations in which it would be safe to dislodge a tree in this manner. There is no information in the record that identifies any situation in which it is safe to use domino felling to fell a danger tree. In fact, other commenters have indicated they know of no situation when felling another tree into a danger tree is considered safe practice (Ex. 5-42, 5-46). OSHA also believes that it is not safe to dislodge a tree in this manner. First, there are already hazards associated with domino felling trees that are not danger trees. Trying to domino fell danger trees such as lodged trees can only increase the seriousness of the hazard. One of the factors that makes a tree a danger tree is that the physical damage to the tree may cause it to fall in an unintended direction. Felling another tree into the danger tree increases the potential for a misdirected fall. Second, the possibility exists that danger trees being domino felled also will become lodged, thereby increasing the number of trees to be avoided or removed and, consequently, increasing the risk to employees when those lodged trees are removed. The safest way to remove a lodged tree, first is remove all unnecessary employees from the area and then to hook the tree to a skidder, and pull the tree down (Ex. 5-43). Therefore, OSHA is not permitting removal of any tree, including a danger tree, by domino felling (See discussion of paragraph (h)(1)(ix).

Paragraph (h)(1)(vii) of the final rule requires that each danger tree be carefully checked for signs of loose bark, broken branches and limbs or other damage before it is felled or removed. This provision also requires that loose bark and other damage that may create a hazard be removed before felling or removing the tree. This requirement has been adopted from the proposed rule. In the proposed rule, OSHA specified that snags be carefully checked for dangerous bark before they are felled and that accessible loose bark be removed before felling.

One commenter opposed this provision (Ex. 5-65). This commenter said that removing loose bark increases dangers from above since upper bark will slough off if lower bark is no longer supporting it. As such, this commenter recommended that OSHA require loose bark to be pinned to the tree. OSHA has changed the final rule to include removing loose bark or holding it in place.

Paragraph (h)(1)(viii) of the final rule requires that felling activity on any slope when rolling or sliding of trees or logs is reasonably foreseeable be kept uphill from, or on the same level as, previously felled trees. This provision has been adopted from the proposed standard and the pulpwood logging rules. Various State standards contain similar requirements (Ex. 2-19, 2-22, 38K).

OSHA received various comments on this provision (Ex. 5-7, 5-12, 5-16, 5-17, 5-53, 5-74 through 5-92). Several commenters said that OSHA should more clearly define what constitutes sloping terrain (Ex. 5-16, 5-21, 5-53, 5-74 through 5-92). These commenters suggested that the provision be limited to slopes exceeding 25 or 35 percent. They also indicated that mechanical felling in southern states should be excluded because slopes are gentler and shorter than in other regions.

The record shows that this provision is necessary to protect employees from being injured by rolling or sliding trees. The WIR survey supports the need for this work practice requirement. According to the WIR survey, nearly three-fifths of the workers who reported injuries said that their accidents occurred on moderately or steeply sloped terrain, and 10 percent of all injured workers blamed the steep terrain for their accident (Ex. 2-1). The OSHA FCI report indicated that 20 employees were killed when they were struck by rolling trees or logs (Ex. 4-61).

OSHA has not adopted a precise minimum slope that would trigger this requirement or excempt any region from the requirement, however, the final rule does address the commenters' concerns by limiting this provision to those sloping terrains where rolling or sliding of felled trees is reasonably foreseeable. OSHA is aware that logging work sites are often not completely level, and that many logging sites could be considered to be sloping terrain. Elements other than the mere slope of the terrain also must be considered in determining whether there is a reasonable possibility that the trees could roll or slide. When a given slope does not present the reasonable possibility that felled trees will slide or roll, OSHA agrees that this requirement should not apply. However, when the terrain slopes to the degree that a reasonable employer would believe that sliding or rolling is foreseeable, then this work practice requirement is necessary to protect loggers from being injured.

Whether a particular terrain slope poses a possibility that trees or logs may slide or roll requires an assessment of the condition of the terrain. All conditions that might contribute to a hazard must be considered (e.g., tree size, weather conditions). For example, when the terrain is either wet or covered with snow or ice, the possibility of trees sliding and rolling is greater and these conditions must be considered in determining whether uphill felling is required. As long as the hazard of sliding or rolling trees exists, felling must be done on the uphill side even if industry practice has been downhill felling, or even if roads have generally been located on the tops of ridges.

One commenter said that this provision of the final rule may be counter to some environmental considerations in timber harvest plans which require opposite felling schemes (Ex. 5-7). However, the commenter has not provided substantive information to support his assertion. OSHA has previously discussed the danger of manual felling operations being conducted in adjacent work areas due to the potential for a felled tree falling into another work area. In light of that the fact that most trees fall down hill when felled, the hazard to employees working below another felling activity exposes those employees to an unacceptable risk of injury or death.

Finally, one commenter said downhill felling should be permitted because it can reduce the feller's fatigue (Ex. 5-12). While NIOSH suggests that worker fatigue may be a factor in logging accidents, NIOSH did not recommend downhill felling as being a method to reduce worker fatigue (Ex. 5-42). Rather, NIOSH said that the employer should reduce worker fatigue and the potential for accidents that results from such fatigue by planning appropriate work schedules. NIOSH suggested that the employer's planning of work schedules should include an evaluation of the amount of heat stress, physical exertion and other factors contributing to fatigue in planning those work schedules. OSHA agrees with NIOSH that planning appropriate work schedules rather than downhill felling would be the appropriate way to reduce worker fatigue without exposing the employee to further hazards and to assure that jobs fit the capabilities of the person. (OSHA is addressing these factors in its rulemaking on ergonomic safety and health management.) Paragraph (h)(1)(ix) of the final rule prohibits the practice of domino felling. As previously discussed, domino felling involves cutting wedges and making partial backcuts in a series of trees that form a continuous line. The last tree is then felled into the line thus pushing the line of trees to the ground in a chain reaction fashion.

This requirement was not included in the proposed rule, however, several commenters urged OSHA to prohibit domino felling in the final rule (Ex. 5-42, 5-46; Tr. W2 231, OR 659). NIOSH said that domino felling was a hazardous practice because there was a loss of stability in the standing tree when it had been backcut (Ex. 5-42). Therefore, NIOSH recommended that OSHA include a requirement in the final rule allowing only one tree to be felled at a time. There are also other hazards associated with domino felling. First, when trees are used to knock down other trees, the likelihood that the trees will not fall in the expected direction is greatly increased. A small miscalculation in the falling direction can be significantly magnified down the line and result in serious injury to the feller or other employees in the area. In addition, a falling tree could hit another object and either fall in another direction or become lodged. This would require an employee to fell the lodged tree, which is a hazardous operation.

Second, the hazards can be magnified when domino felling is not successful in knocking down the entire line of trees. The feller may be placed in an extremely hazardous situation if he must try to fell any of the line of trees that may remain standing. For example, part of the line of trees may have fallen over and lodged against the standing tree. A feller who attempts to fell the final standing tree(s) could be injured when the lodged line of trees and the final tree finally do fall. The risk of injury is greater because it is more likely that the lodged trees may fall in an unexpected direction, and the combined weight of the lodged trees further increases the risk. In this sense, the prohibition against domino felling is similar to the requirement in the final rule that trees be felled in a manner that prevents them from striking things such as ropes, cables, or power lines. For these reasons, OSHA is requiring that trees be felled one at a time rather than allowing trees to be used to knock down other trees.

Manual Felling

Paragraph (h)(2) of the final rule specifies various work practices for manual felling. OSHA believes these provisions are essential to reduce the number of injuries that occur during felling activities. According to the WIR survey, tree felling is the most dangerous activity in the logging industry. Of those who reported injuries in the WIR survey, 23 percent were engaged in felling trees at the time.

OSHA's FCI report also indicates that felling operations are the most hazardous operation in the logging industry (Ex. 4-61). The report indicated that 43 percent of all employees who died did so when they were felling trees.

The State of Washington study indicated that more than 40 percent of employees killed from 1977-83 were performing felling operations (Ex. 4-129). This study concluded that many of the deaths would have been prevented had logging employees been following safe work practices and had remained out of hazardous areas (e.g., adjacent occupied work areas).

One commenter said that certain of the work practices proposed by OSHA should not be required of each feller (Ex. 5-54). This commenter said the work practices did not take into account the variation in feller experience, production requirements, and the trees themselves. This commenter also said the work practice requirements did not allow for innovations in felling technology and for recognition of other safe ways to perform felling tasks. OSHA points out that these work practice requirements have been widely recognized and accepted in the logging industry. Most of the State logging standards contain most of these work practices (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-23, 38J, 38K). These requirements were included in OSHA's pulpwood logging standard, that adopted the 1971 ANSI logging standard. In addition, these requirements were contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard. The ANSI standards are national consensus standards which were developed, approved and followed by the logging industry itself. Presumably, they represent what the industry has viewed to be necessary and reasonable to prevent injuries and deaths in this high hazard industry.

In paragraph (h)(2)(i) of the final rule, OSHA requires that before a feller even begins felling a tree, a retreat path must be planned and cleared. This provision also requires that the retreat path extend diagonally away from the expected felling line. This provision also includes an exception to the diagonal retreat path when the employer demonstrates that in the particular situation such a retreat path is not feasible or poses a greater hazard than an alternative retreat path. The proposed rule contained a requirement for planning and clearing a retreat path before commencing cutting. However, the proposed rule required that the retreat path "extend back and diagonally to the rear" of the expected felling line. This language also was contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard.

One commenter contended that a diagonal retreat path may not lead to the safest location in the felling area, therefore, it would be inappropriate for OSHA to designate a required retreat direction in the standard (Ex. 5-35). The record shows that the clearance of a retreat path so the feller is able to move rapidly and safely away from a falling tree is essential to prevent injuries. According to the WIR survey, 24 percent of all reported injuries resulted from being hit by a tree and half of these injuries involved falling trees. OSHA believes there are many kinds of hazards that necessitate a quick and clear retreat path. For example, the tree being felled can split and part of the tree may then fall in an unexpected direction. In heavily wooded areas, the tree being felled can strike another tree that can cause the first tree or parts of either tree to fall or fly in an unexpected direction. In addition, planning and clearing a path prior to cutting a tree is especially important when the terrain is covered with obstructions such as snow, water or heavy undergrowth. These obstructions could cause the feller to be injured if they impede the feller's ability to rapidly retreat or cause him to trip or fall. For these reasons, OSHA has retained the requirement to plan and clear a retreat path before felling the tree.

OSHA has addressed in the final rule the concerns raised by the commenter. As a general rule, OSHA believes that a diagonal retreat path is the safest location in the felling area. The ANSI standard, developed by persons experienced in the logging industry, recognized that same general safe work practice. OSHA recognizes that when the retreat path is planned prior to cutting, the employer may find that a diagonal retreat path poses greater hazards than an alternative path. For example, excessive slopes, rocks or other trees in the path of a diagonal retreat may create hazards that are not present in an alternative retreat path. In such cases, the final rule permits the employee to use an alternate retreat path.

OSHA notes that the employer bears the burden of demonstrating that the diagonal retreat path poses a greater hazard. OSHA also notes that the exception is a case-by-case determination. That is, the general rule requiring a diagonal retreat path is to be applied in all manual felling activities. The exception only applies when the feller, in planning a particular retreat path, determines that a diagonal retreat poses a greater hazard.

Paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of the final rule requires that before each tree is felled, conditions shall be evaluated in the work area and precautions taken so a hazard is not created for an employee. Conditions that must be evaluated include, but are not limited to, snow and ice accumulation, wind, lean of the tree, dead limbs and location of other trees. This provision parallels the requirement contained in the proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard.

OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision. Many commenters discussed the hazardous nature of working conditions in the logging industry, and noted that these conditions are constantly changing (Ex. 5-12, Tr. W1 76, 88). Because conditions can change with each tree that is being felled, it is important that the feller assess in advance the conditions and hazards that may be present. In order for fellers to understand what conditions and hazards may be present and must be appraised, it is important that the employer should include this discussion in training sessions and monthly safety and health meetings.

Paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of the final rule requires that each tree be checked for accumulations of snow or ice. This provision also requires that accumulations of snow and ice that may create a hazard for an employee must be removed before felling is started in the area or the area must be avoided. This provision parallels the requirement contained in the proposed rule.

One commenter said that this provision would require logging establishments to cease felling operations during winter months (Ex. 5-51). OSHA does not agree with the characterization that the commenters draw about the proposed rule. OSHA is aware that logging operations are carried out in many types of weather conditions. OSHA does not believe that this provision requires logging operations to close down during the winter. However, when accumulations of snow and ice may create a hazard for an employee, that hazard must be removed or avoided. The record shows that removing or avoiding hazardous accumulations of snow and ice is necessary to protect logging employees from injury. According to the WIR survey, six percent of employees injured said that weather conditions such as snow and ice had contributed to their accident (Ex. 2-1).

Paragraph (h)(2)(iv) of the final rule requires that when a spring pole or other tree is under stress, no employee other than the feller may be closer than two tree lengths when the stress is released. This provision was included in the proposed rule, however, the proposed rule did not require that employees be at least two tree lengths away. Rather, it required that employees be in the clear when the stress is released.

Various commenters recommended that OSHA establish a uniform minimum safe distance for all work areas (Ex. 5-18, 5-21, 5-34, 5-36, 5-39, 5-63, 5-74 through 5-92; Tr. W2 163, 197). OSHA agrees with these commenters and has included a minimum two tree-length distance in this provision. The record shows that this distance is necessary to protect employees from being injured or killed by trees under stress. According to the WIR survey, 11 percent of employees who reported injuries said that wood being under tension had contributed to their accident (Ex. 2-1). The OSHA FCI report indicated that four employees were killed when they were struck by propelled or whiplashing tree limbs (Ex. 4-61).

Paragraphs (h)(2)(v), (vi) and (vii) require undercutting and backcutting of each tree being felled.

In paragraph (h)(2)(v) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that each tree being felled be undercut unless the employer demonstrates that felling the particular tree without an undercut will not create a hazard for an employee. This paragraph also requires that the undercut be of a size so the tree will not split and will fall in the intended direction. The proposed rule contained a provision requiring undercutting of each tree being felled, however, the proposed provision did not provide for any exceptions. OSHA received many comments on this provision, which have been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

At paragraphs (h)(2)(vi) and (vii) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that each tree be backcut. OSHA is also requiring that the backcut allow for sufficient hinge wood to guide the tree and prevent it from prematurely slipping or twisting off the trunk. OSHA is requiring that the backcut be above the horizontal cut of the undercut. In the final rule, OSHA is allowing one exception to the backcut requirements. In tree pulling operations, the backcut may be at or below the horizontal cut of the undercut. The proposed rule also contained provision requiring backcutting of each tree being felled. The proposed rule did not allow any exceptions to the backcut requirement. OSHA received many comments on these provisions, which have been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

Bucking and Limbing

Paragraph (h)(3) of the final rule establishes various necessary work practices for bucking and limbing activities. According to the WIR survey, 12 percent of the reported logging injuries occurred when the employee was bucking or limbing (Ex. 2-1). The OSHA FCI report showed that 16 employees were killed during bucking and limbing operations (Ex. 4-61). The work practice requirements contained in this paragraph address the hazards presented by log movement on slopes, by wind-thrown timber and by trees that are yarded for bucking.

Paragraph (h)(3)(i) of the final rule requires that bucking and limbing that are done on any slope where rolling or sliding of trees or logs is reasonably foreseeable must be done on the uphill side of the tree, unless the employer demonstrates that it is not feasible for bucking or limbing to be done on the uphill side. This paragraph also requires that whenever bucking or limbing is done on the downhill side, the tree must be secured against movement to prevent rolling or sliding. The proposed rule also contained a provision requiring bucking and limbing to be done from the uphill side.

This provision was supported by one commenter (Ex. 5-17). The record shows that bucking and limbing from the uphill side is necessary to protect employees from being hit or crushed by rolling or sliding trees or logs. As discussed above, according to the WIR survey, nearly three-fifths of workers who reported injuries were working on moderate to steep terrain at the time of their accident, and 10 percent of all injured workers said steep terrain had been a factor in their accident (Ex. 2-1). Bucking or limbing can cause loss of support for the tree and cause it to shift, roll or slide unexpectedly. Blocking or chocking a tree on a slope can never provide as much protection as avoiding the hazard in the first place. The record shows that the only work method in which it can be assured that an employee will not be hurt by a rolling or sliding tree is by performing bucking and limbing on the uphill side. As such, bucking and limbing from the downhill side is permitted only in those cases when the employer is able to demonstrate that it is not feasible to work from the uphill side. In those particular cases, the tree must be restrained to reduce as much as possible the possibility of the tree rolling or sliding. OSHA notes that the burden of demonstrating infeasibility is on the employer. In addition, the issue of the infeasibility of bucking and limbing from the uphill side must be determined on a case-by-case basis when the tree and the conditions in the area are carefully assessed.

Paragraph (h)(3)(ii) requires that when bucking or limbing wind-thrown trees, precautions must be taken to prevent the root wad, tree butt, or logs from striking an employee. These precautions include, but are not limited to, chocking or moving the tree to a stable position before bucking or limbing. The proposed rule also contained a requirement for bucking or limbing wind-thrown trees. However, the proposed rule did not specify what precautions should be taken.

Several commenters said that the proposed provision was too general to be useful (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-74 through 5-92). These commenters said that this was one of a series of proposed work practice requirements which should be deleted from the final rule and included in topics that must be covered in training sessions. OSHA believes that this work practice requirement is necessary to address the significant risk of injury during these activities. According to the WIR survey, 12 percent of reported injuries occurred during bucking and limbing. OSHA does agree with the commenters that these work practice requirements should also be addressed in training sessions.

Chipping

At paragraph (h)(4) of the final rule, OSHA has specified various work practices regarding chipping that is performed at in-woods locations. Paragraph (h)(4)(i) of the final rule requires that access covers or doors not be opened until the drum and disc is at a complete stop. The access covers and doors are the means by which employees are safeguarded from the risk of contacting these parts while they are moving. This provision is adopted from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contains a similar provision. OSHA did not receive any comment opposing this provision.

OSHA believes that this requirement is necessary to keep employees away from the dangerous moving drums, discs, knives and blower blades of a chipper. OSHA's FCI reported indicated that two employees have been killed while operating a chipper or trying to free jammed logs (Ex. 4-61). The moving chipper mechanism presents significant hazards, and employees need protection from contact with those mechanisms when they are moving.

Paragraph (h)(4)(ii) of the final rule requires that infeed and discharge ports be guarded to prevent contact with the disc, knives, or blower blades. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. There were no comments opposing this provision.

Paragraph (h)(4)(iii) of the final rule requires that the chipper be shut down and locked out in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.147 when an employee performs any servicing of maintenance on the chipper. The proposed rule required that the chipper be shut down and locked out before an employee works in the infeed.

OSHA did not receive any comments opposing lockout of the chipper while working on the infeed. OSHA received one comment stating that lockout should be expanded to apply when an employee is working on the drive mechanism or chipping disc (Ex. 5-28). The lockout/tagout standard, 29 CFR 1910.147, applies to servicing and maintenance of all machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machine or equipment, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees. This includes machines and equipment used in logging operations.

The lockout-tagout standard permits employers to either place a lock or tag on any machine before beginning servicing. However, OSHA believes that the environmental conditions involved in logging operations necessitates the use of locks rather than tags when servicing chippers. As OSHA stated in the preamble of the lockout/ tagout standard, it is intended to interact with any new or revised standard to address the use of specific control measures on an individual basis (54 FR 36644, 36665, Sept. 1, 1989). Selection of the specific method of control, at that time, will reflect a thorough evaluation of the extent of exposure to the hazard, the risk of injury involving the particular machine or industry, and the feasibility of applying a particular method of control. OSHA also pointed in the preamble of the lockout/tagout standard that damage to or loss of tagout devices is a serious drawback to the use of tagout. Logging operations are carried out in all kinds of weather, including rain, snow, ice and wind, and there is a significant possibility that tags could be damaged or lost. In such circumstances, OSHA believes only locking machinery will provide adequate protection for employees who are servicing it. Therefore, OSHA is requiring chippers to be shut down and lockout out before an employee performs any servicing or maintenance activities.

Paragraph (h)(4)(iv) of the final rule requires that detached chippers be chocked during usage on any slope when movement of the chipper is reasonably foreseeable. As with other mobile equipment that is intended to be operated from a stationary position, the unexpected movement of the equipment can endanger employees who are either operating the equipment or in the path of the equipment when it moves. The vibration caused by the operation of the equipment can enhance the potential for unintended equipment movement. Chocking of mobile equipment to prevent movement is recognized throughout industry as a necessary and appropriate means to prevent unintended movement. For example, OSHA requires in 29 CFR 1910.178(k)(1) that trailers be chocked before being boarded by powered industrial trucks.

Yarding

Paragraph (h)(5) specifies various work practice requirements covering yarding activities. Paragraph (h)(5)(i) of the final rule requires that logs not be moved until each employee is in the clear. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. Movement of logs when employees are in the immediate area can result in an injury to those employees.

According to the WIR survey, almost 20 percent of employees injured were involved in yarding operations at the time of their accident (Ex. 2-1). When a log is moved on uneven, unimproved terrain, the exact path that the log will follow is impossible to predict. When they are being moved, logs may roll over, or the loose end of a log may flip back and forth (fishtail). Movement in an unanticipated direction can cause the log to strike an employee, causing serious injury. OSHA has included this requirement in the final rule to ensure that when logs are moved, all personnel must be safely positioned and not exposed to a hazard. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision.

Paragraph (h)(5)(ii) of the final rule requires that each choker be hooked and unhooked from the uphill side or end of the tree or log when rolling or sliding is reasonably foreseeable, unless the employer demonstrates that it is not feasible in the particular situation to hook or unhook the choker from the uphill side. This provision also requires that when the choker is hooked or unhooked from the downhill side, the log shall be securely blocked or chocked to prevent rolling or swinging. The proposed rule also specified that chokers be hooked and unhooked from the uphill side when feasible unless the log is securely blocked to prevent rolling or swinging. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar requirement. There were no comments opposing this provision.

Employees who hook and unhook chokers on sloping terrains face the same hazard of rolling or sliding logs as do fellers, buckers, limbers and other employees. According to the WIR survey, 19 percent of the injuries reported occurred during choker setting, hooking and unhooking (Ex. 2-1). In addition, the WIR survey indicates that nearly three-fifths of all workers injured were working on moderate to steep terrain at the time of their accidents. The final rule makes clear OSHA's intention that all hooking and unhooking of chokers must be from the uphill side or end when rolling or sliding is reasonably foreseeable. This is the only work location in which it can be assured that an employee will not be hurt by a rolling or sliding tree. For this reason, hooking or unhooking chokers from the downhill side is not permitted simply because the tree has been secured with a chock. Rather, the employer must evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether it is possible to hook or unhook from the uphill side. Only when the employer has demonstrated that hooking or unhooking the choker from the uphill side or end is not feasible in the particular situation is hooking or unhooking the choker from the down hill side permitted.

Paragraph (h)(5)(iii) of the final rule requires that each choker be positioned near the end of the log or tree length. This provision was adopted from the proposed rule. There were no comments opposing this provision.

Positioning a choker at the end of the log ensures that the log is moved along its longitudinal axis. Hooking up and skidding a tree or log requires much less energy than trying to move the tree or log sideways. If an employee were to try to move a tree or log by dragging it sideways (perpendicular to its longitudinal axis) the tree or log could become wedged behind another tree, a rock, or a stump, causing the premature failure of the haulage equipment and the possibility of employee injury if the restraint were to suddenly break or release the tree or log. Because of these hazards, the usual practice in non-cable yarding is to skid or drag a tree or log when moving it. When trees or logs are skidded, the choker is hooked to the end of the tree or log and it is pulled along the ground.

Paragraph (h)(5)(iv) of the final rule requires that each machine be positioned during winching so the machine and winch are operated within their design limits. The proposed rule required that the machine be positioned so that the winch line is as near in alignment as possible with the long axis of the machine, unless the machine is designed to be used under different conditions of alignment.

One commenter opposed the proposed provision for several reasons (Ex. 5-34). First, the commenter said that some machines, such as cats and skidders, are designed to sustain winching strain from a much broader angle than straight behind the machine, therefore, the proposed provision was needlessly restrictive if the machine is being operated within its rated capacity. Second, the commenter said it was not possible to comply with the provision in many situations. For example, the commenter said arches are normally equipped with fairleads and grapples that swing sideways out of alignment with the long axis of the machine. Third, the commenter said the provision would create a greater hazard when winching is conducted on very steep terrain. In such cases, the commenter said, it is more important that the machine be positioned to assure maximum stability rather than positioning the machine relative to the log being winched.

OSHA recognizes that exact alignment is not always possible in the woods. OSHA also recognizes that a machine may have a winch mounted on it that may work off the side or front of the machine, and that aligning the winch line with the long axis of the machine may not be the safest manner to operate the winch.

OSHA agrees with this commenter that what is most important is that the design limits of the machine and winch not be exceeded. Therefore, OSHA has revised the wording of this provision to ensure that winching operations conducted with machines are performed within the design limitations of the machines.

Paragraph (h)(5)(v) of the final rule requires that no line be moved unless the yarder operator has clearly received and understood the signal to do so. This provision also requires that when the yarder operator is in doubt, the operator must repeat the signal and wait for a confirming signal before moving any line. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. A similar provision also was contained in the 1978 ANSI logging standard and in various State logging standards (Ex. 2-14, 2-18, 2-20, 38J). OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision.

OSHA believes that adequate communication is necessary for the safe movement of trees and logs. If the yarder operator begins moving the tree or log before the choker setter or chaser has moved to a safe location, the choker setter or chaser could be injured if struck or caught by a yarding line, carriage, or choker, or by the tree or log.

Paragraph (h)(5)(vi) of the final rule requires that the load shall not exceed the rated capacity of the pallet or other carrier. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision. This provision is an outgrowth of the requirement that the rated capacity of machines shall not be exceeded. In order to prevent machines from rollovers and tipovers, it is also essential that loads on trailers not exceed the maximum capacity the trailer was designed to carry and the machine was designed to transport. If loads exceed the maximum capacity, the machine operator will be at greater risk of rollover or tipover. As discussed above, a significant number of fatalities have occurred in the logging industry due to rollover accidents. NIOSH reported that 80 logging employees were killed in machine rollover accidents from 1980-85 (Ex. 5-42). The State of Washington reported that 12 logging employees were killed in rollover accidents from 1977-83 (Ex. 4-129).

Paragraph (h)(5)(vii) of the final rule requires that towed equipment must be attached to the machine or vehicle in such a manner as to allow a 90 degree turn, to prevent overrunning of the towing machine or vehicle and to assure that the operator is always in control of the towed equipment. Towed equipment includes but is not limited to skid pans, pallets, arches and trailers. This provision parallels the proposed requirement. There were no comments opposing this provision.

OSHA's intention in this provision is two-fold. First, OSHA believes this provision is necessary to help reduce the potential for rollover of vehicles or machines that are moving equipment to various work sites. For example, a trailer carrying a maximum load could tip over or roll over and cause the towing machine or vehicle to roll over if the loaded trailer cannot make a full 90 degree turn. Second, this provision is necessary to help assure that material handling equipment is not overloaded. This provision must be viewed in conjunction with the requirement that loads must not exceed the rated capacity of the trailer or other carrier on which it is being towed. For example, when towed equipment exceeds the rated capacity of the towing trailer, it may overrun the towing machine or vehicle. When the rate capacity of the trailer is exceeded there is an increased likelihood that the operator may lose control over the towed equipment and an accident could result.

Paragraph (h)(5)(viii) of the final rule requires that each yarding machine or vehicle, including its load, must be operated with safe clearance from all obstructions. This provision has been adopted from the proposed rule. There were no comments opposing this requirement.

Paragraph (h)(5)(ix) of the final rule requires that each yarded tree must be placed in a location that does not create a hazard for an employee and be placed in an orderly manner so that the trees are stable before other work, such as bucking or limbing, is commenced. The proposed rule required that trees yarded for bucking shall be safely located and stable before bucking is commenced. There were no comments opposing this provision.

In the final rule, OSHA has expanded this provision to provide that no work is commenced until yarded trees are stabilized and safely located. OSHA believes it is necessary to apply this provision to all work done in the area of yarded trees. The WIR survey indicates that the single greatest cause of accidents in the logging industry is being injured by a tree, log or limb and a significant number of employees were injured performing bucking and limbing (Ex. 2-1). If operations, such as bucking or limbing, are located too close to other work operations, unsuspecting loggers could be injured by a rolling log. Moreover, if yarded trees or stacks of trees are not stabilized, loggers performing work activities involving these trees could be at substantial risk of injury if the unstabilized trees move, shift or roll.

In the final rule, OSHA has not retained two proposed requirements from this paragraph. The first would have required the examination of spar trees for defects before they are rigged. This provision has been deleted because it relates to the construction of cable yarding systems that is not covered by the final rule.

The second provision would have required unstable trees and spars to be guyed to ensure stability. Some commenters said that requiring employees to climb on and rig unstable trees presents a greater hazard than does felling an unguyed tree (Ex. 5-17, 5-21). The weight of the climber and his rigging gear could cause the tree to break off and fall over, resulting in serious injury or death to the climber. OSHA has addressed in other ways the hazards associated with danger trees through other practice requirements. For example, the final rule requires danger trees to be felled or removed before any work can be commenced in the area.

Loading and Unloading

Paragraph (h)(6) of the final rule specifies various work practice requirements regarding loading and unloading trees onto transport machines or vehicles. These requirements were based on those in the 1978 logging standard and various State logging standards (Ex. 2-17, 2-18, 2-19, 2-20, 2-22, 38J, 38K). OSHA believes these work practices are necessary to protect employees from being hit by machines, vehicles, trees and logs during loading and unloading. The WIR survey indicates that five percent of the injuries reported occurred during loading or unloading (Ex. 2-1). The State of Washington study indicated that five percent of all deaths occurred during loading and unloading operations (Ex. 4-129).

Paragraph (h)(6)(i) of the final rule requires that the transport machine or vehicle be positioned to provide working clearance between the vehicle and deck of trees or logs. This provision parallels the requirement contained in the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard contained a similar provision.

Several commenters supported the need for adequate room between transport equipment and trees or logs (Ex. 5-21, 5-74 through 5-92). These commenters pointed out that room needs to be provided on the landing for the transport machine or vehicle and its counterweights, especially when landings are on sloped terrain. The record supports these commenters' position. According to the State of Washington study, almost 10 percent of all deaths reported occurred when an employee was struck by mobile equipment and five percent of all deaths involved employees performing loading operations (Ex. 4-129). OSHA believes that the employer must consider several factors in determining an adequate work clearance for loading and unloading. These factors include, but are not limited to, the type of loading machine and transport vehicle being used, the physical characteristics of the load being moved, and the layout of the area where the operation is being conducted. For example, if the vehicle is a self-loading log truck, it will have to be positioned close to the deck of logs to allow the truck to be loaded. On the other hand, if a crane or other material handling machine is used to load and unload the transport vehicle, the machine must be positioned so that it can reach both the deck of logs and the vehicle without exceeding the rated capacity of the machine.

Paragraph (h)(6)(ii) of the final rule requires that only the loading or unloading machine operator and other personnel that the employer demonstrates are essential shall be allowed in the work area during loading and unloading. This provision parallels the provision contained in the proposed rule and in the 1978 ANSI logging standard. There were no comments opposing this provision. OSHA believes this provision is necessary because, as discussed above, many injuries and fatalities in the logging industry involve loading operations. For example, the State of Washington study reported that three employees were killed when they were struck by logs falling from the transport vehicle during loading (Ex. 4-129).

In the final rule, OSHA is clarifying its intention that the employer bears the burden of proving that personnel other than the machine operator who are in the loading or unloading area are essential to that activity. OSHA notes that this is a case-by-case determination that requires the employer to evaluate the needs and conditions present at the time.

Paragraph (h)(6)(iii) of the final rule requires that no transport vehicle operator remain in the cab during loading and unloading if logs are carried or moved over the cab, unless the employer demonstrates that it is essential for the operator to be in the cab. This provision also requires that when the transport vehicle operator remains in the cab during loading or unloading operations, the employer must provide operator protection such as, but not limited to, reinforcement of the cab. The proposed rule specifies that no transport vehicle operator remain in the cab during loading and unloading unless the employer demonstrates that it was necessary for the operator to be in the cab. The 1978 ANSI logging standard contained a similar requirement.

OSHA received many comments on this provision (Ex. 5-17, 5-21, 5-33, 5-34, 5-74 through 5-92). Several commenters stated that there were so many situations in which it is essential for transport vehicle operators to be in the cab or on the vehicle during loading and unloading that the exceptions would overwhelm the rule (Ex. 5-21, 5-34, 5-36, 5-74 through 5-92). For example, commenters said that self-loading logging trucks must be operated by the driver from an elevated seat above the cab (Ex. 5-21, 5-36). In other loading operations the operator is required to move the transport vehicle back and forth in the loading chute to position the log on the load (Ex. 5-34).

Several commenters said that the cab may be the safest place for the transport vehicle operator to be during loading and unloading (Ex. 5-17, 5-33, 5-34). One commenter said that greater hazards were posed for the operator when not in the cab (Ex. 5-34). For example, the operator outside the cab can be struck by logs that fall off the load or come out of the jaws of the loading machine, or by the loading machine itself. This commenter pointed out that in the State of Washington there have been numerous fatalities and serious injuries reported when the operator was outside the cab, but none reported when the operator was in the cab (Ex. 5-34). As such, this commenter said that many logging establishments will only permit logs to be unloaded if the transport vehicle operator is in the cab (Ex. 5-34).

OSHA believes the record shows that in some situations the safest place for the transport vehicle operator will be in the cab (e.g., Ex. 4-129). The WIR survey appears to support this position, in that only three percent of all injuries reported involved mobile equipment (Ex. 2-1). By contrast, almost one-fourth of all injuries reported resulted from being hit by a tree or falling in the work site. However, there are some hazards to operators who remain in cabs during loading and unloading. Any time logs are carried or moved over the cab, it is possible due to equipment failure or operator error that the log could fall on the cab and seriously injure the operator.

In other standards OSHA has recognized the hazard of carrying loads over people. These standards include requirements that material handling equipment operators avoid this practice (See 29 CFR 1910.179, 29 CFR 1910.180, 29 CFR 1910.181). In many new self-loading trucks, the hoist mechanism is behind the cab, a location which prevents the movement of logs over the cab (Ex. 5-71). In other situations, however, logs are still moved or carried over the cab. It is not safe for the operator to be in the cab in those situations. Therefore, when logs are carried or moved over the cab, the final rule requires that the operator not remain in the cab if the employer has not demonstrated that it is essential for the operator to do so. If it is essential for the operator to be in the cab when logs are carried or moved over the cab, the employer must provide protection for the operator. The final rule states that this protection includes but is not limited to reinforcement of the cab.

Paragraph (h)(6)(iv) of the final rule requires that each log be placed on the transport vehicle in an orderly manner and tightly secured. This provision parallels the requirement contained in the proposed rule. There were no comments opposing this provision.

OSHA believes that this provision is necessary to protect employees from the hazards that result from haphazard loading and inadequately securing the load. For example, when the load is not properly stacked and/or tightly secured, logs can swing in the tie downs and hit an employee. In addition, the load can shift and cause both the trailer and transport machine or vehicle to rollover. Proper stowage of vehicle loads has the added advantage of providing, in most cases, a more compact load with a lower center of gravity, one that is safer to move.

Paragraph (h)(6)(v) of the final rule requires that the load be positioned to prevent slippage or loss during handling and transport. This requirement parallels the provision contained in the proposed rule. OSHA did not receive any comments opposing this provision. A load that is improperly positioned can roll or shift at any time, thereby potentially endangering any employee who might be close at hand.

Paragraph (h)(6)(vi) of the final rule requires that each stake and chock used to trip loads must be constructed so the tripping mechanism is activated on the side opposite the release of the load. OSHA has adopted this provision from the proposed rule. The 1978 ANSI logging standard also contained a similar provision. There were no comments opposing this provision. OSHA believes this provision is necessary to protect employees from sudden or unexpected shifts or movements of the logs when a load is released. Only by keeping employees out of the potential paths of the shifting or moving logs can there be assurance that the employee will not be struck by a log.

Paragraph (h)(6)(vii) of the final rule requires that each tie down be left in place over the peak log to secure the logs until the unloading lines or other equivalent protection have been put in place. This provision also specifies that a stake of sufficient strength to withstand forces of shifting logs shall be considered to provide protection equivalent to a tie down, provided that the logs are not loaded higher than the stake. This provision parallels the requirement contained in the proposed rule.

The West Virginia Forestry Association supported this provision (Ex. 5-54). They said that several recent serious logging accidents had occurred in their state because logs loaded too high have fallen off the transport vehicle.

Due to the vibration of the load during transport, the load can shift or move so that when the restraints are removed, the load will roll or otherwise fall off the truck, thereby endangering the employee who must remove the restraints. For this reason, OSHA has specified the necessary and appropriate work practices that must be followed to ensure the safe unloading of transport vehicles.

Paragraph (h)(6)(viii) of the final rule requires that each tie down be released only from the side on which the unloading machine operates. This provision also permits two exceptions to this requirement in situations when the tie down is released by a remote control device and when the employee making the release is protected by racks, stanchions or other protection the employer demonstrates is capable of withstanding the force of moving and shifting logs. This requirement parallels the provision contained in the proposed rule and the 1978 ANSI logging standard.

Several commenters suggested that the exceptions to the release requirement be eliminated (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-74 through 5-92). However, these commenters did not provide any discussion to support their position. OSHA believes that adequate protection is provided in the alternate releasing methods that are excepted from this provision to protect the machine or vehicle operator from being hit by moving or shifting trees or logs.

Transport

Paragraph (h)(7) of the final rule requires the transport vehicle operator to assure that each tie down is tight before transporting the load. In addition, this paragraph requires that while en route, the operator shall check and tighten tie downs whenever there is reason to believe that the tie downs have loosened or the load has shifted. The proposed rule also contained a provision requiring the transport operator to assure that tie downs have been tightened and to check and tighten the tie downs as necessary while en route. The 1978 ANSI logging standard contained a provision similar to the proposed rule.

One commenter opposed the provision, believing that the provision required transport vehicle operators to implement a regular schedule of stopping and checking on tie downs, regardless of whether there is reason to suspect they are loose (Ex. 5-35). OSHA has more clearly stated its original intention in the final that the operator must check tie downs whenever there is reason to believe they are loose or the load has shifted. For example, this would occur if an operator can feel the load shift, or knows that the transport vehicle has hit an object or pothole which jarred the load. OSHA believes this work practice is necessary to protect the transport vehicle operator from having an accident due to logs shifting or breaking the tie downs. In addition, this provision is necessary to protect the transport vehicle operator from being hit by shifting or moving trees when he unloads the vehicle.

Storage

Paragraph (h)(8) of the final rule requires that each deck of logs be stacked and located so it is stable and provides each employee with enough room to safely move and work in the area. This provision has been adopted from the proposal. The 1978 ANSI logging standard contained a similar requirement. There were no comments opposing this provision.

This provision combines two different requirements. First, this paragraph requires that decks and piles of logs be constructed so they are stable. OSHA believes that decks must be carefully stacked so logs do not shift, roll or fall off the deck and strike an employee who may be working or passing through the storage area. Second, this paragraph requires that the work activities in the vicinity of the storage are well-planned so enough room is provided for those work activities so that an employee is not harmed if the stacked logs shift, roll or fall. OSHA believes these work practices are necessary to protect employees working in the landing area. According to the WIR survey, 20 percent of injuries reported involved accidents at landing areas.

Paragraph (i) Training

In paragraph (i) of the final rule OSHA has specified various training requirements. For several reasons OSHA believes training is a critical element in a integrated control program to reduce the number of accidents, and consequently, the number of fatalities and injuries in the logging industry. First, the logging industry is a high hazard industry. Employees need to be made aware of the various hazards so they can actively participate in making the workplace safe. According to the WIR survey, 10 percent of the workers who reported injuries said that being unaware of the hazard had contributed to their accident.

Second, training is also essential in achieving compliance with the substantive requirements of the standard, including the use of personal protective equipment and safe work practices. Without effective training, employees may not be aware of how to perform their job safely or how the integrated controls can reduce injuries and fatalities. Third, training is especially important in complying with the logging standard because the standard relies heavily on safe work practices to prevent accidents from occurring. Employees who are not trained in how to perform their job safely can put themselves and other employees at risk of injury. Various studies of accidents in the logging industry indicate that poor work practices are a major contributing factor (Ex. 2-1, 4-3, 4-14, 4-15, 4-61, 4-63, 4-121, 4-125, 4-129, 4-138, 4-172, 5-20). For example, according to an accident study conducted by one commenter, 40 percent of accidents were due to poor planning, 40 percent were due to poor technique, and 15 to 18 percent were due to carelessness (Ex. 5-20). Only 2 to 5 percent of the accidents were due to equipment failure. The WIR survey indicated that poor work practices of employees or a co-worker were a contributing factor in more than one-half of all accidents reported (Ex. 2-1). OSHA's FCI report indicated that unsafe work practices and misjudgments accounted for 42 percent of logging employees who were killed (Ex. 4-61).

Fourth, training is necessary to correct unsafe behavior before it results in injury to the employee or others. In the WIR survey, injured loggers reported that among the factors that contributed to the accident were coworker's activity, misjudging time and distance needed to avoid injury, using wrong cutting methods and not paying full attention to work. In addition, a State of Washington study of fatalities in the logging industry from 1977-83 concluded that over 90 percent of the deaths had been preventable (Ex. 4-129). Therefore, when unsafe behavior is observed, it is important that proper work practices be reinforced through additional training. Fifth, according to the WIR survey, more than one third of all those injured had never received training. Moreover, more than one half of injured loggers working in non-western States (i.e., States without logging standards and training requirements) had never received training.

Sixth, the logging industry itself supports the value of training in reducing accidents (Ex. 4-181, 5-6, 5-17, 5-19, 5-20, 5-22, 5-29, 5-33, 5-42, 5-43, 5-44, 5-45, 5-47, 5-59, 9-5, 9-6; Tr. W2 125, OR 566). Many commenters said their accident rates decreased after they implemented a training program (Ex. 5-33, 9-5, 9-6; Tr. W2 125, OR 566). One company achieved a 63-percent reduction in lost workdays within a year of implementing training (Tr. W2 125). The Montana Logging Association reported that member companies had decreased accidents by 52 percent after implementing training (Tr. OR 566). A study for the International Woodworkers of America found a 71-percent reduction in accidents in establishments in the Pacific Northwest region who had implemented training programs (Ex. 4-181).

Paragraph (i)(1) requires that training be provided for each employee, including supervisors, at no cost to the employee. The proposed rule also required each employee to be trained. This provision clarifies OSHA's intent that supervisors also must receive training. OSHA believes that it is important that supervisors be trained since they are responsible for making work assignments, determining work areas, providing consultation when hazardous situations arise, determining when new employees can begin to work independently, and identifying and correcting unsafe job performance of employees they supervise.

Some commenters raised the issue of cost and availability of training programs, especially for small establishments (Ex. 5-19, 5-32, 5-51). However, other commenters said there are training resources that are readily available for logging establishments (Ex. 5-20, 5-27, 5-52, 5-69, 36, 9-1). These include logging associations and companies which currently offer logging training programs and traveling training seminars, and video tapes which are available to employers. For example, the Alaska Timber Insurance Exchange has established a video library for policyholders to use as training supplements (Ex. 9-15). The American Pulpwood Association said it was developing a logging training that was to be available by the end of 1989 (Ex. 5-27). The Associated Oregon Loggers has also developed logging training programs for member companies (Ex. 36). One training company indicated it was currently providing a variety of different logging training programs in six different States (Ex. 5-20). OSHA also notes that several commenters have expressed their willingness to work with OSHA to train loggers (Ex. 5-18, 5-20, 5-27, 5-47, 5-52, 5-69).

Paragraph (i)(2) requires that training be provided as follows: as soon as possible but not later than the effective date of this section for initial training of each current employee who has not previously received training; prior to initial assignment for each new employee who has not previously received training; whenever an employee is assigned new work tasks, tools, equipment, machines or vehicles; and whenever an employee demonstrates unsafe job performance. When the proposed rule did not require initial training for each current employee, the proposed rule would have required training prior to initial assignment; annual retraining of each employee; and retraining whenever changes in job assignment would expose the employee to new or additional hazards. OSHA received many comments on the training provisions, some of which have already been discussed above in the Major Issues section.

Many commenters raised the issue of whether experienced and/or previously trained employees would be required to be retrained (Ex. 5-19, 5-21, 5-28, 5-29, 5-33, 5-35, 5-39, 5-43, 5-49, 5-74 through 5-92, 9-1; Tr. W1 63, OR 85). Some commenters favored training of all workers, regardless of their previous employment experience (Ex. 5-19, 5-28, 5-29, 5-35). Other commenters said that previously trained or experienced workers should be excepted from training requirements (Ex. 5-21, 5-36, 5-39, 5-43, 5-49, 5-52, 5-74 through 5-92).

As discussed above in the Major Issues section, OSHA believes that employees who have never received training must be trained, regardless of their level of experience. The need to provide training for experienced loggers who have not previously received such training is supported by the WIR survey, that indicates that over one third of those injured had never received training and 56 percent of those injured had worked in the logging industry for 5 years or more. By contrast, only 22 percent of those injured had worked in the logging industry for one year or less. In addition, the WIR survey indicates that the employees who were injured performed the activity in which they were injured on almost a daily basis. (OSHA is allowing an exception to initial training for previously trained employees. See discussion of paragraph (i)(5)).

OSHA also received several comments on annual retraining of employees. Some commenters said annual retraining is necessary (Ex. 5-34, 5-43, 9-3, 9-9, 9-13, 9-20). One commenter said that machine operators should be retrained at least annually (Ex. 5-34). However, other commenters questioned the need for annual retraining of loggers and suggested that retraining could be handled in regular safety and health meetings (Ex. 5-19, 5-29, 5-43). One commenter also said retraining should be limited to an "as needed basis" (Ex. 5-19).

OSHA has addressed these concerns in the final rule. Instead of an annual retraining provision, the final rule contains provisions requiring employers to hold safety and health meetings at least once a month (paragraph (i)(11)), and to retrain any employee who demonstrates unsafe job performance. OSHA agrees with the commenters that these new provisions are more responsive to addressing new hazards and unsafe job performance than is an annual retraining requirement. These provisions also require the employer to address unsafe job performance immediately. These provisions require the employer to address new hazards as they appear in the workplace in monthly safety and health meetings. In addition to being more responsive to hazards as they appear in the workplace, OSHA believes these provisions will be less burdensome on employers, especially small employers with limited resources. OSHA anticipates that only a portion of employees will need to be retrained due to unsafe job performance. Also OSHA believes that for many employers ongoing monthly safety and health meetings will be incorporated into job planning meetings that are well-established in the logging industry. (Safety and health meetings are addressed further in discussion of paragraph (i)(11)).

OSHA received comments supporting the need for training of new inexperienced employees and training employees assigned to new job tasks, tools, equipment, machines or vehicles (Ex. 5-19, 5-21, 5-28). There were no comments opposing these provisions, therefore, OSHA has retained these requirements in the final rule.

OSHA has added the requirement of retraining of employees demonstrating unsafe job performance based on practice in the industry. OSHA received comment that some employers who are providing training do require retraining where unsafe job performance is identified (Ex. 29).

The proposed rule also contained minimum training elements that included recognition of safety hazards associated with the employee's particular work tasks and the protective and preventive measures to deal with those hazards; recognition and prevention of general safety hazards in the logging industry; and safe use and maintenance of any machine, equipment or tool used by an employee. One commenter agreed that training should list the hazards of each step of an employee's job and describe how these particular hazards could be controlled (Ex. 5-17). There were no comments opposing this provision.

In the final rule, OSHA has added the requirement that employees be trained in the procedures, practices and requirements of the employer's work site in recognition of the number of comments who describe the logging industry as highly transient (Ex. 5-21, 5-74 through 5-92). While new employees may be experienced and well-trained in the recognition of hazards of the job and in the safe use of equipment of the trade, they may be unaware of the operating protocol of a particular establishment, such as how work activities are organized, or what system of signals is being used. OSHA has also added a provision in the final rule requiring that each employee be trained in the requirements of this section. OSHA believes it is important that employees know the various provisions of this section so they can actively participate in contributing to their own protection. This provision is included in other OSHA standards (e.g., 29 CFR 1910.132, 29 CFR 1910.146, 29 CFR 1910.1047).

Paragraph (i)(4) of the final rule permits the employer to limit training of an employee due to unsafe job performance and for any employee assigned to new work tasks, tools, equipment, machines or vehicles to those content elements in paragraph (i)(3) that are relevant to the circumstances giving rise to the need for training. The proposed rule did not contain a similar provision. OSHA has added this provision to reduce the burden of the training requirement by allowing employers to focus the additional training on the elements necessary to prepare the employee to safely perform the job or operate a new piece of equipment. For example, OSHA is aware that an employee who is assigned to operate a new machine, may not need retraining in recognition of general hazards in the logging industry or the requirements of the logging standard.

In paragraph (i)(5) of the final rule OSHA establishes certain exceptions to the training requirement. Current and new employees who have received training previously do not need to be retrained in those elements of paragraph (i)(3) for which they have received training. This paragraph also reinforces that each current and new employee must still receive training in those elements for which they have not previously been trained. Even though certain limited exceptions to the training requirements are allowed, this paragraph reinforces that the employer is responsible for ensuring that each current and new employee can properly and safely perform the work tasks and operate the tools, equipment, machines and vehicles used in their job. The proposed rule would have required new employees to be trained, regardless of whether they were experienced or had been trained previously, before initial assignment. The proposed standard also would have required each new and current employee to receive annual retraining.

Several commenters were confused about who was required to be trained under the proposed rule and many commenters opposed retraining of previously trained workers (Ex. 5-21, 5-33, 5-35, 5-39, 5-43, 5-53; Tr. W1 63, OR 85). According to these commenters, employees move from employer to employer and requiring retraining of each new employee would be both duplicative and costly. As discussed above in the Major Issues section, OSHA has addressed the commenters' concerns by allowing previous training to be acceptable in lieu of new initial training for both current and new employees. In order to determine whether the training exception is applicable to a particular employee, the employer must first ascertain whether previous training has satisfied the training content requirements of paragraph (i)(3). Determining whether previous training meets the requirements of this section should not be difficult with regard to current employees. Employers can examine their training materials to ensure that each of the training content requirements has already been covered in training sessions. OSHA notes that each current and new employee will at least have to be trained in the requirements of this new standard. OSHA believes that many employers will provide training on the new final rule in the monthly safety and health meetings It may, however, require additional effort for the employer to determine whether a new employee has received training that meets the requirements of the final rule. An employer cannot merely ask the new employee whether he has been trained. Rather, under the training certification requirements of this paragraph (see paragraph (i)(10)), the employer must make a determination of whether and when the past training was adequate to satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

To determine whether past training was adequate, the employer will have to go through two steps. First, the employer must inquire whether the new employee had training in each of the elements specified in paragraph (i)(3). When the new employee indicates that he has not received training in a particular element, the employer will need to provide training in that element. Second, when the employee indicates that he had received training in each of the required elements, the employer must then determine whether the particular training was adequate. Most likely, the employer will make that determination while the new employee is working under close supervision of a designated person, as required by this paragraph. When the new employee, who has been previously trained, can demonstrate the ability to safely perform the job independently, the employee can then determine and certify that previous training had been adequate.

At paragraph (i)(6) of the final rule, OSHA requires that each new employee and each employee who is required to be trained by this paragraph, to work under the close supervision of a designated person until the employee is able to demonstrate the ability to safely perform the new job independently. The proposed rule contained two provisions specifying initial close supervision. One provision specified initial close supervision for all power tool and machine operators and associated maintenance personnel. The second provided initial close supervision for each new employee, and each newly trained employee. In addition, the State of Oregon logging standard requires initial close supervision for new employees and requires experienced new employees to demonstrate their competence before being allowed to perform the job independently (Ex. 38K).

Several commenters supported this provision (Ex. 5-22, 5-42, 5-33, 5-39, 5-53, 5-55, 5-63, 9-9; Tr. W1 91-92, 172-73, OR 151-52, 216, 373, 377, 410). NIOSH said it was important in the logging industry to have an adequate balance of classroom and on-the-job training (Ex. 5-42). NIOSH said working with a designated person would be especially effective for pointing out poisonous plants to inexperienced workers (Ex. 5-42). Several commenters also supported limiting this provision to only inexperienced workers (Ex. 5-33, 5-39, 5-53, 5-62, 5-74 through 5-92).

OSHA has carefully considered the comments and has decided for several reasons that it is necessary in the final rule to retain the requirement that each new and each newly-trained employee work under the close supervision of a designated person initially. There are several reasons for this determination. First, this requirement acts as a final check on the competency of a newly-trained employee by allowing the employer to measure in practical terms how well the employee has absorbed the training. Second, this provision is also a measure of the general effectiveness and adequacy of the employer's training program. When employees are not able to demonstrate the ability to perform the job safely, the employer needs to review and correct the training program and retrain the workers.

Third, OSHA believes this provision is essential given the inclusion of an initial training exception in the final rule for previously trained workers. As discussed earlier, more than 60 percent of all loggers who reported injuries in the WIR survey had been previously trained (Ex. 2-1). This data supports the need for safeguards to integrating new employees into the workplace if initial training of each new employee is not required. Finally, this provision is also a safeguard for integrating newly-trained employees and employees whose unsafe job performance has necessitated retraining.

Paragraph (i)(7) of the final rule specifies various requirements regarding first-aid training for each employee, including supervisors. Paragraph (i)(7)(i) of the final rule requires that the employer assure that each employee receives or has received first-aid and CPR training. This provision also requires that first-aid training meet at least the requirements of Appendix B. The proposed rule would have required only supervisors, fellers and at least one additional person in each operating area to have first-aid training. The proposed rule also would have required that the first-aid training content meet the training programs of the American Red Cross, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) or other equivalent program.

As discussed above in the Major Issues section, OSHA is expanding the requirement on first-aid training to all employees. According to the WIR survey, more than one-half of all injuries occurred at cutting sites, that in most cases are remote from medical facilities and personnel (Ex. 2-1). Also as discussed above in the Major Issues section, OSHA is not requiring employers to provide the first-aid training. The employer can meet the requirements of the standard by assuring that employees he hires already have taken first-aid training. The employer can also meet this requirement by requiring any worker in his employ to take a first-aid training course from any organization in the community whose program meets the requirements of this standard. In addition, the standard does not require repeat first-aid training for workers who have received first-aid training previously, provided the training has met the content requirements of this standard and their first-aid certificate is current.

With regard to first-aid training content, Appendix B specifies the minimum content of required first-aid training. This content list includes training in emergency situations that are most likely to arise in the logging industry, such as control of bleeding and shock, immobilization of injured persons, treatment of sprains and fractures, and treatment of contact with poisonous plants or animals.

For several reasons, in the final rule, OSHA has specified the minimum first-aid training requirements rather than simply referring to programs provided by various organizations. First, the content list is in keeping with OSHA's goal of developing performance language standards. Second, the content list in Appendix B focuses on the types of situations that are most likely to occur in the logging industry and in remote work sites. General first-aid training programs may not thoroughly cover the kinds of situations found in the logging industry. Third, the content of training programs offered by various organizations may change and an element crucial to first aid in remote outdoor locations may be dropped. By specifying the minimum content, the standard places training organizations on notice as to what elements their program must include in order to meet the requirements of this standard.

Fourth, by expressing the first-aid training requirements in performance language, OSHA is providing employers with maximum flexibility. Employers will not have to research the Red Cross and MSHA training programs to see if a training program offered locally by another organization meets the requirements of this standard. In addition, by specifying the content, the standard leaves employers free to develop their own first-aid training program or rely on outside organizations to provide first aid training. Fifth, since the final standard permits employers to require their employees to take first-aid training rather than providing the training, it is important to provide employees with an understandable criteria for determining whether the training program they select meets the requirements of this standard.

Paragraph (i)(7)(ii) of the final rule requires that the employer assure that each employee receives first-aid training at least every three years and receives CPR training at least annually. The proposed rule did not contain a similar requirement. Most first-aid training organizations require retraining at the above frequency in order to maintain a current certificate (Ex. 5-42). OSHA agrees with these organizations that it is necessary to refresh one's first-aid skills on a regular basis. Since these skills are not usually used on a daily basis, trained persons may become less able to render these skills over time without periodic refresher training. In addition, what constitutes the best first-aid techniques and procedures changes over time. Employees need to be retrained so their skills include the best and most current practices.

Paragraph (i)(7)(iii) of the final rule requires that the employer assure that each employee's first aid and CPR training and/or certificate of training remain current. The proposed rule did not contain a similar requirement. OSHA believes this provision is essential given the inclusion of the exception in the final rule for previously trained workers. In addition, it is essential because employers can comply with the first-aid training provisions without actually providing the training themselves. In essence, this provision is similar to the provision in paragraph (i)(5) reinforcing that the employer is responsible for assuring that the employee can safely perform the job, even if the employer has not been required to actually provide the training. Regardless of whether the employer provides training or allows employees to take a first-aid program offered by another organization, the employer is still responsible for assuring that employees can render first aid properly if called upon.

At paragraph (i)(8) of the final rule, OSHA is requiring that training be conducted by a designated person. As discussed above, a designated person is an employee who has the requisite knowledge, training and experience to perform the specific duties. The proposed rule did not contain a similar requirement.

Some commenters said that it was important that training be conducted by a qualified or certified person (Ex. 9-3, 9-13, 9-16). OSHA has included this provision in the final rule because the Agency wants to assure that regardless of whether employers rely on their own personnel to conduct training or utilize outside experts, the person providing training must have the necessary qualifications and background in the subject matter being taught.

Paragraph (i)(9) of the final rule requires that training required by this section be presented in a manner that the employee is able to understand. This provision also requires that the employer assure that training materials are appropriate in content and vocabulary to the educational level, literacy and language skills of the employees being trained. A similar provision was not contained in the proposed rule. OSHA has added this provision in the final rule as a way of ensuring that all employees, regardless of their cultural or educational background, will receive adequate training on how to perform their job safely. OSHA notes that this requirement applies to both logging and first-aid training.

Paragraph (i)(10) requires the certification of training. While this provision was not contained in the proposed rule, several commenters stressed the need to document training (Ex. 9-16, 9-18; Tr. OR 137, 558-59, 643-44). OSHA agrees with these commenters that documenting training is necessary. First, in the final rule OSHA has allowed prior training to be acceptable in lieu of initial training. In the proposed rule, OSHA had required that each new employee, regardless of experience and prior training, receive training prior to initial assignment. In order to accept prior training in lieu of new training, OSHA believes employers must establish a process for determining whether the prior training was adequate. The certification procedure provides that process without imposing a significant burden. Second, several commenters said that many establishments do not currently document training (Tr. W1 95, OR 92). As such, employers do not have any records to indicate whether appropriate training has been provided.

Third, some commenters testified that all training programs should be written programs (Ex. 5-17, 5-42). While many large logging establishments already have implemented impressive written training programs, OSHA is also aware that a written training and recordkeeping requirement would impose a paperwork burden and significant burden on small employers in this industry (Ex. 5-44). OSHA believes that training certification is a less burdensome way of documenting whether employees have been adequately trained. OSHA notes that the time and costs of training certification have been included in the final regulatory impact analysis.

Paragraph (i)(10)(i) of the final rule requires that the employer verify compliance with paragraph (i) of this section by preparing a written certification record. This provision also requires that the written certification record contain the name or other identity of the employee trained, the date(s) of the training, and the signature of the person who conducted the training or the signature of the employer. In addition, this provision requires that if the employer relies on training conducted prior to the employee being hired or prior to the effective date of this section, the certification record shall indicate the date the employer determined the prior training was adequate rather than the date of actual training. The proposed rule did not contain a certification requirement.

The Agency is adding this new provision to the final rule in large part because it is allowing prior training to be accepted in place of a new round of training. OSHA recognizes, given the transient nature of the workforce in this industry, that in many cases an employer will be unable to identify the date on which previous training was provided by another employer. In those cases, OSHA believes that knowing the date of the prior training is not as important as the employer's determination as to whether the prior training is adequate. As such, OSHA is requiring employers to certify on what date they determine the prior training to be adequate. In the final rule OSHA has included a measurable way to determine when and whether prior training had been adequate. The final rule requires that each new employee work under close supervision of a designated person until the employee demonstrates the ability to safely perform the job independently. In most cases, therefore, this demonstration date will constitute the certification date.

Paragraph (i)(10)(ii) of the final rule requires that the most recent training certification be maintained. This provision has been included to limit the number of records that the employer is required to maintain on training.

Paragraph (i)(11) of the final rule requires that the employer hold safety and health meetings as necessary and at least each month for each employee. This provision allows safety and health meetings to be conducted individually, in crew meetings, in larger groups, or as part of other staff meetings. The proposed rule did not contain a safety and health meeting requirement. Many State logging standards also require regular safety and health meetings in the logging industry (Ex. 2-17, 2-22, 2-23, 36, 38K). For example, the State of Washington logging standard requires safety meetings to be held monthly and whenever work is started at a new work site.

Many commenters supported the need for regular and ongoing safety and health meetings for both inexperienced and experienced workers (Ex. 5-7, 5-19, 5-28; Tr. W1 93-95, 163, OR 92, 110, 137, 197, 204, 276, 335, 374, 643-44, 691-92). Several of these commenters indicated that many establishments in the industry already hold safety and health meetings on a regular basis. Several commenters said safety and health meetings were an effective way of informing employees about hazards and keeping their safety awareness high (Ex. 5-19, 5-28; Tr. W1 93-95, 163, 189-90, OR 92, 110, 137, 204, 276, 374, 643-44). One commenter said that documented monthly safety and health meetings were necessary on all logging operations "to instill the necessary safe work attitude in all logging employees" (Ex. 5-28). Commenters also said safety and health meetings were good for providing targeted information (Tr. W1 94, 164, 189, OR 110, 204-05, 373, 643). For example, they said safety and health meetings were a way of informing employees about recent accidents and about lapses in safe work practices, and to alert employees about conditions and hazards peculiar to the job to be performed or the site to be logged that day.

Commenters also said that safety and health meetings were necessary for both inexperienced and experienced loggers (Ex. 5-19, 5-28, 5-45; Tr. OR 335). One of these commenters said:

We don't feel that just new employees or green men ought to be sitting in safety and health meetings. Repetition increases retention, and everyone can benefit if they've heard it a hundred times. Maybe they forgot it 99 [times] and it might save their life or their buddy's life the next day (Tr. OR 335).

OSHA agrees with these commenters that safety and health meetings are necessary to reinforce proper work practices and to alert employees to particular hazards which are present in the workplace. OSHA believes that regular safety and health meetings will provide adequate retraining for employees in the logging industry, and that these meetings are necessary in lieu of requiring annual retraining of experienced workers.

Paragraph (j) Effective Date

As stated in paragraph (j), this final rule becomes effective 120 days after publication of the revised rule and preamble in the Federal Register. Employers must be in compliance with all requirements of this section by the effective date. One commenter recommended a three-year delay in the effective date of this final rule to allow for manufacturers' design and lead time and retrofitting of old equipment (Ex. 5-22). OSHA believes that 120 days is a reasonable compliance time for this standard for several reasons. First, the Agency is not requiring retrofitting ROPS and FOPS on old machines or chain brakes on chain saws. Those equipment requirements apply only to machines and chain saws placed into initial service after the effective date. OSHA believes that replacement of safety devices that have been removed, such as seat belts, should not require additional compliance time. Second, in the final rule OSHA has not adopted any equipment requirements that are not already standard safety features of equipment currently manufactured and readily available. Therefore, additional compliance time is not warranted.

Finally, OSHA believes that allowing 120 days for employers to come into compliance will provide employers with adequate time to familiarize themselves with the final rule, to purchase needed equipment, and to develop and conduct required training.

OSHA notes that the requirements of the existing pulpwood logging standard remain in effect until the effective date.

Paragraph (k) Appendices

In paragraph (k) of the final rule, OSHA is specifying that Appendix A on contents of first-aid kits and Appendix B on content of first-aid training are mandatory. First-aid kits must contain at least the items listed in Appendix A to meet the requirements of paragraph (d)(2). First-aid training programs must cover the topics listed in Appendix B to meet the requirements of paragraph (i)(7). Appendix C contains a listing of comparable ISO standards to those Society of Automotive Engineer standards referenced in the final rule. These SAE standards cover ROPS, FOPS, seat belts and machine access. The information contained in Appendix C (Corresponding ISO Agreements) is purely informational and is not intended to create any additional obligations not otherwise imposed or to detract from existing obligations.

2. "Summary and Explanation of Technical Amendments to 29 CFR 1910.269(r) and 29 CFR 1928.21(a)(3)"

In this Federal Register document OSHA is also issuing technical amendments to the Electric Power Generation standard (29 CFR 1910.269) and to the standards for the agriculture industry (29 CFR 1928.21(a)(3)). Both standards have included a reference to the existing logging standard. OSHA intends that both standards now reference the revised logging standard in place of the pulpwood logging standard.

[59 FR 51672, Oct. 12, 1994]

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