Trucks/Trucking: safety

INTRODUCTION: The Forest Resources Association’s Western Technical Division Transportation Committee initiated a survey of Western pulp and paper mills to determine the range of truck safety requirements in use. In the summer of 1999, the Committee developed the survey and mailed it to lead fiber supply managers at 17 companies in the Northwest. Fourteen companies responded, some submitting information on multiple facilities, for a total of 20 locations included in the survey. The results showed a wide range of requirements, with few requirements in common among the mills.

GENERAL FEATURES: The survey asked for information in four categories: (I) Required Use of Personal Protective Equipment; (II) Required Procedures; (III) Required Truck Features; and (IV) Other (either requirements or items the company offers to truckers who enter the facility). Tabulated results, along with respondents’ comments, follow.

I. Personal Protective Equipment: Required Not Required
Hard Hat 11 9
Safety Glasses 10 10
Hearing Protection 4 16
Steel Toe Shoes 1 19
  Other: Reflective Vests 1  
  Escape Respirator 3  
  Boot with heel and ankle support 1  

Respondents’ Comments:

  • Steel-toed shoes encouraged, not mandatory.
  • Hearing protection available, not required.
  • Chemical truck drivers required to have all chemical-related safety gear.
  • Drivers expected to follow their company’s safety requirements, unless they leave a designated area.
  • Hard hat, safety glasses, gas masks, and hearing protection will be required next year for hog fuel drivers.

Speed limits vary # of facilities
3mph 3
5mph 3
10 mph 6
12 mph 1
15 mph 3
20 mph 1
Combination 20/10 2


II. Required Procedures Required Not Required
First Time Driver Orientation 14 6
Written Dumping Procedure 17 3
Speed Limit 19 1
Other: Designated parking areas (and map) 2  
  No smoking 2  
  No riders 2  

Respondents’ Comments:

  • Orientation consists of video and walk-through.
  • Compliance card is issued that shows proof of orientation.
  • First-time drivers must be accompanied by an experienced driver on their first trip through
    the mill.
  • Drivers are individually tested on their knowledge and compliance with dumping procedure.
  • Drivers must be out of truck and away from dump while truck is unloaded.
  • Safety video covers all these aspects and must be viewed by drivers.
  • 4 companies require the trucking company, not the receiving facility, to conduct the orientation.

III. Required Truck Features Required Not Required
Lights on 7 11
Other: Have lights and warning horn on chip dump itself when operating
Highway Legal
IV Other      
Items offered:   Dust masks offered/provided (2 facilities)


  • Trucker appreciation lunches recognize good drivers.
  • Must have certificate of insurance on file before coming on site.
  • Trucking contractors required to have a written safety plan.

CONCLUSION: As a result of the survey, the WTD Transportation Committee recognized that there were few common requirements among the various mills. Two reasons noted for the differences include different union work rules and varying woodyard layouts. Instead of searching for common truck safety requirements among the mills at this time, the Committee agreed to four further actions:

  1. Send survey results to all participants and WTD committee members.
  2. Encourage each company to post a large sign at its entry gate, detailing that facility’s truck safety requirements.
  3. Explore whether FRA member trucking companies might develop a leading edge common safety requirement package to serve as a model for all trucking companies.
  4. Gather FRA Safety Alerts on transportation-related accidents or close calls and post or provide them at mill woodyards and at rail and barge transportation companies.

Transportation Committee
Western Technical Division

Tim Gammell
Western Technical Division Foreste