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Forestry and Lumber Mill Fall Protection Systems

From initial harvest to the lumber mill, the forestry industry presents a unique set of fall protection challenges.  Addressing these fall hazards requires the implementation of a comprehensive fall prevention strategy, which includes the proper mix of fall protection equipment, personnel training, and partnering with a fall protection company that appreciates the unique nature of your facility’s access points and potential fall hazards.

We are a complete turnkey provider of forestry and lumber mill fall protection systems and have years of design and installation experience in this market sector.  Contact us for expert assistance with your fall arrest, fall restraint and fall protection requirements.

Design Considerations

Forestry Fall Protection Design Considerations

Although the use of PPE such as lanyards and climbing harnesses to safely climb and descend from trees with heavy chain saws may seem obvious, the web of fall protection that begins in the forest must extend to the lumber mill and beyond. Guardrails, horizontal and vertical lifelines, and rigid beam fall protection systems utilized in lumber processing facilities must be designed with environmental factors, proximity to cranes and saws, and traffic flow taken into consideration. Fall protection and fall arrest systems must not interfere with worker mobility or impede the path of processing equipment in any way.

Because OSHA regulations apply to unprotected leading edges greater than 48 inches, a fall protection system is required to protect workers while tarping finished lumber loads on flatbed trailers. Eliminating the need to climb on uneven surfaces obscured by a tarp is considered a best practice. For this reason, the use of an automated truck tarp system operated from ground level is recommended.

DFP has years of experience designing and installing fall protection systems for the forestry and lumber mill market sectors. Our understanding of your facility’s unique access points and fall hazards, combined with our turnkey approach to OSHA compliant fall protection will keep both your work areas and employees safe.

OSHA Regulations

    • 1926.502(d)
      'Personal fall arrest systems.' Personal fall arrest systems and their use shall comply with the provisions set forth below. Effective January 1, 1998, body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system. Note: The use of a body belt in a positioning device system is acceptable and is regulated under paragraph (e) of this section.
    • 1926.502(d)(8)
      Horizontal lifelines shall be designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system, which maintains a safety factor of at least two.
    • 1926.502(d)(9)
      Lanyards and vertical lifelines shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN).
  • Ladders
    • 1926.1053(a)(18)
      Fixed ladders shall be provided with cages, wells, ladder safety devices, or self-retracting lifelines where the length of climb is less than 24 feet (7.3 m) but the top of the ladder is at a distance greater than 24 feet (7.3 m) above lower levels.
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)
      Where the total length of a climb equals or exceeds 24 feet (7.3 m), fixed ladders shall be equipped with one of the following:
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(i)
      Ladder safety devices; or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(ii)
      Self-retracting lifelines, and rest platforms at intervals not to exceed 150 feet (45.7 m); or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(iii)
      A cage or well, and multiple ladder sections, each ladder section not to exceed 50 feet (15.2 m) in length. Ladder sections shall be offset from adjacent sections, and landing platforms shall be provided at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m).

Talk to a fall protection specialist

Tell us about your fall protection needs, and we’ll configure a system that rises to your challenges.