November 2016 - Prevent Hazardous Roadside Debris

Alert of the Month

In January 2016, while a road crew was completing some blasting work, a piece of shot rock landed in the crown of a small hemlock tree, adjacent to the right‐of‐way. The shot rock was about 2 feet wide, and was roughly 60 feet up the tree. It would have been hard to see for the next phase of workers, and could have seriously injured someone.

The good news is that the supervisor wrote up a hazard report, took a photo of the shot rock, and handed the report off to the next phase. He discussed what would need to happen with the bunching supervisor, and they made a plan to protect future workers in the area, and to remove the rock.

The Issue

Hazardous roadside debris has been identified by many groups as a serious threat to their safety on the job. When material like shot rock, boulders, root wads, decked logs, road spoil, processor debris or pushed over trees are perched above a work area – usually on a steep roadside – all the workers who must work below or travel through are at risk.

Preventing Hazardous Roadside Debris

In 2015 and 2016 a group of road builders, fallers, contract supervisors and engineers worked on ways to prevent hazardous roadside debris. This group collected industry feedback through a survey (see October 2016 Forest Safety News), and from this feedback, built the following recommendations. Please apply these recommendations if you are a planner, contract supervisor, road builder, engineer, falling supervisor or any other person involved with designing, building roads and logging on steep slopes.

Do your part to prevent hazardous roadside debris.

Additional Safety Resources:

Safety Meeting Slideshow: Watch the seven minute video and play it at your next tailgate or safety meeting to help your workers understand the problems of and solutions to hazardous roadside debris. Go to:

or download from us (54MB, mp4)

Posters and Brochures: Request your free poster or brochure from the Council, or go to this site to print your own!

Print version of this alert

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