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Cedar salvage logger killed when struck by falling cedar blocks during a helicopter logging operation in Washington State.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 98WA103, 2000 Aug; :1-16
On July 9, 1998, a 54-year-old cedar salvage logger died after being struck by one or more cedar blocks during a helicopter logging operation. Two cedar salvage loggers were working together on the ground in a heavily wooded area and had hooked up a load of cedar blocks to a helicopter drop line using a sling. As the helicopter was lifting the load, the sling failed by slipping, allowing the cedar blocks to fall. One of the loggers managed to get out of the way of the falling cedar blocks, but the second logger was hit directly by one or more of the blocks. The local emergency medical rescue unit was summoned via the helicopter's radio and responded to the incident scene. The victim died from the injuries sustained in the incident. To prevent future similar occurrences, the Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Investigative team concluded that cedar salvage loggers involved in helicopter logging should follow these guidelines: 1. During rigging and hoisting operations, all personnel should be in the clear and stand out of the path of travel of the material being hoisted. 2. A well-defined safe area and escape routes should be designated prior to any material lift so that all personnel will be "out of harm's way" in case of a failed lift. 3. Slings must have properly spliced eyes. When using synthetic fiber rope, eye splices need to have at least four full tucks to prevent splice failure. 4. All persons who direct, rig, and handle loads for lifting operations need to be specifically trained and knowledgeable in both safety and operating principles associated with the specific process. 5. For all helicopter logging operations, a preflight briefing with the air and ground crews should be held to review the operation's safety plan.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Logging-workers; Traumatic-injuries; Forestry-workers; Lumber-industry-workers; Lumber-industry; Lumberjacks
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-98WA103; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-013928
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division