NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Logging injury alert: choker setter dies after being struck by haywire.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 92-05-2013, 2013 Oct; :1-2
A 32-year-old choker setter with no previous logging experience was struck by the haywire and later died. On his first day on the job, the victim was shotgun cable logging with a slack pulling motorized carriage. He was working with two other choker setters, who were also new to logging with only a few weeks' experience. They were preparing to make a road change and move the skyline. The haywire was attached to a choker on the carriage and sent out to the crew. The haywire was unhooked from the choker, and the three choker setters pulled the haywire downhill from the carriage, coiled the excess haywire, and secured the end of the haywire to the base of a tree that was to be used as the next tail hold or anchor tree for the skyline. When the victim and the two other choker setters moved downhill away from the coiled haywire, the victim let the hook tender know they were in the clear. The hook tender then signaled the yarder operator to go ahead on the haywire. As the cable was being pulled by the yarder, the haywire coil became tangled, which caused the line to tighten and fly downhill. All three choker setters were in the bight of the haywire line - the hazardous zone - when the line snapped taut. The victim was struck in the abdomen and knocked downhill by the haywire. Another choker setter was struck in the chin by the coiled haywire ball. The victim was taken to a medical facility where he was treated and released. He returned home, where his condition worsened. He did not seek further medical care. Five days later he died at home from complications of injury to his abdomen. Safety Requirements: 1. Employees must be in the clear of logs, root wads, chunks, hazardous trees, rolling material and rigging before the go-ahead signal is given and must stay in the clear until all rigging movement has stopped. See WAC 296-54-577(4). 2. The employer must provide safety training for each employee. See WAC 296-54-507(1). 3. Report the death, probable death of an employee, or the in-patient hospitalization of an employee within 8 hours. See WAC 296-800-32005. Recommended Safe Practices 4. Have an experienced person directly supervise the rigging crew. 5. Train inexperienced individuals and crews to understand and recognize the hazard of being in the bight of lines. 6. Crew members must always find a safe position in the clear away from the bight of lines.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Surveillance-programs; Logging-workers; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Education; Training; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Hazards
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
Logging injury alert: choker setter dies after being struck by haywire
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division