Safety & Assurance Bulletin October 2022

Does it stack up?

Given that the current timber market conditions have slowed the movement of timber from harvesting sites, timber stacks may be growing. This doesn’t lessen the need to ensure they remain safe and stable.

Generally, stack heights should not exceed product length nor the height for a haulier to be able to see across the top of the stack. Where site specific conditions allow, stack heights may be permitted to be more than product length but will likely require extra precautions to be put in place to maintain the accepted level of safety. When stacking timber above the product length the Forest Works Manager must undertake a Risk Assessment.


  • The agreed stack height should included in the site risk assessment.
  • Relevant warning signage should be placed in clearly visible positions near all stacks across the site.
  • When accessing a site keep checking your signs, if they are not clearly visible then move the sign or clear the area of obstructions.
  • It is not sufficient to place warning signs just at site entrances.
  • Additional precautions may be required in public access areas.
  • If circumstances change the risks must be reassessed.

Safety & Assurance Bulletin

The Risk Assessment must include the maximum stack height taking into account the product length, the ground stability, profile, and proximity to other constraints such as public roads/ footpaths/water courses.
Good drainage is important on any access route as a wet road or track will be weak and deteriorate over time. All tracks and roads are designed to prevent water collecting on the surface and keep water away from the running surface to prevent erosion. Timber stacks must not impede (block) roadside drains as it is crucial that water flows freely within roadside drains.


  • Stacks must not impede roadside drainage.
  • Use bearers under the stack to ensure that water flows freely within the roadside drain.
  • Stacks should not be created over, or in close proximity to culverts.
  • Stacks must be located away from overhead or underground cables.
  • Stacks should not contain more than 1 product.