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Logging Operations: Yarding Safety

Monday, July 11, 2016

Next to felling, yarding (or skidding) is one of the most dangerous parts of any logging operation. If not treated with the proper respect and attention, the process of moving felled trees to the appropriate staging area for transportation can be extremely hazardous.

Common causes of yarding hazards include:

  • Moving equipment

  • Moving and rolling logs

  • Cable releases

  • Cable-related cuts and punctures

  • Rollovers

Start with Proper PPE

The right personal protective equipment can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding injuries. Always make sure that you have the right equipment for the job and that it is in good repair and not damage or compromised in any way.

Staying Safe

When involved in yarding operations always remember:

  • Hook and unhook chokers from the end of the log on the uphill side (unless log is securely choked).

  • Position yourself in clear view of equipment operators.

  • Communicate clearly with the yarding machine operator to signal the movement of the line.

  • Move the line only after receiving a clear signal (yarding machine operator)

  • Ensure winching is done within the stability limits of the machine.

  • Place each yarded tree in a location that does not cause a hazard.


Before transporting any felled trees, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are chokers hooked and unhooked from end of the log on the uphill side?

  • Are workers on foot within clear view of the skidder operators?

  • Are operators waiting for the signal before moving the line?

  • Is winching being done within the stability limits of the machine?

  • Are cable handlers wearing gloves?

  • Are operators wearing seat belts?

  • Are yarded trees being placed in a location that does not cause a hazard?

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.