Log spills from load; Hits log truck driver

Safety Alert Type: 
Yarding and Loading
Harrison Hot Springs, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Western Canadian Timber Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Loader operator had completed loading of a log truck. Processor operator recalls hearing “That’s a load”. Truck driver gets out of his rig and places wrappers through the grapple of the loader. The loaderman places wrappers over the load.

During the loading phase a short log which the driver did not notice had slid ahead. Processor operator noticed the short log that slid ahead and proceeded to let the truck driver know. The driver requested the loaderman to reposition the log within the load. Loaderman repositioned the short log.

During this process the middle wrapper became tangled up, requiring the wrapper to be taken off and repositioned. The Processor operator assisted in throwing the middle wrapper over the load. Processor operator recalls the loader’s boom was positioned 90 degrees to the load on the passenger side, and also notices the grapple was not on the ground but suspended several feet above.

Processor operator moved back to the last wrapper closest to the back stake of the log truck and noticed it was tanged and states he was in the process of untangling wrapper when the loaderman took it upon himself to attempt to adjust the logs on top of the load to assist untangling the back wrapper. Seeing this, the process operator held on to the end of the wrapper and walked quickly to the front of the loader to get in to the clear.

Processor operator stated that he was not sure why the loaderman took it upon himself to grab the logs at the back of the load. Loader operator recalls seeing the processor operator standing at the base of the loader on the left side and stated “I thought the Log Truck Driver was in the clear”.

Loader operator stated he observed the short log moved forward again and decided to reposition it once again. The log truck driver stated that once the short log was repositioned and the Boom and Grapple were facing the passenger side of the truck the first time, he proceeded around the front of the truck to apply cinches on the passenger side of the load.

Driver states he told the processor operator he was going around to apply cinches to the wrappers. Log truck driver was positioned on the passenger side of the truck and was not visible to the loaderman. Driver observed the middle wrapper come over.

It was at this time that the loaderman took it upon himself to reposition the same log that had slid ahead earlier for the second time. The loaderman laid the grapple flat on the load to grab the short log to pull it back.

Once he had pulled the short log back, he opened the grapple to release the log. It was then that the grapple struck a 26 foot Alder log which in turn flipped off the load and struck the driver.

Loaderman stated he could not see the log truck driver because of the offset position of the loader cab. The log truck driver stated he was about to cinch the front wrapper when he saw something coming over the side of the load and dove towards the front of the truck to try to get out of the way.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Unsafe condition: Loaderman adjusted log without clear knowledge of the log truck Drivers location
  • Inadequate Communication: Loaderman assumed the log truck driver was talking to the supervisor at his pickup
  • Root Causes: Industry standard horn signals for loading were not being used. Loaderman attempted to adjust log without clear knowledge of log truck driver’s location.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Don Banasky don@wctp.ca

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