Sawmill Trim Saw Feeder Operator


The operator lifts and adjusts every board with the right hand and reaches back and twists to operate pedestal controls with the left hand.


An ergonomics committee was formed to evaluate jobs in the mill. The committee met with the trimmer operators to identify the ergonomic hazards and brainstorm solutions.

A finger feeder was installed on the chain to reduce the manual handling of boards.

Even-ender rolls bring the lumber into a zero line. These changes greatly reduce hand and arm forceful exertions and repetitive motions.

The fixed controls have been replaced with a pendant control that can be moved up and down the chain. The operators met with the electrician to decide on the best control button locations. Video monitors were installed in front of the operator to view crossups at both the unscrambler upstream and after the trim saw downstream.

During and following the changes, the volume of lumber production was increased by 25 % while the piece count per unit also increased. Before the changes, two full-time operators (a spotter and a feeder) did the job. The changes allowed one full-time feeder and a half-time rover employee to do the same job even with the production volume and piece count increases.

Further Information

Contact: Georgia Pacific Corporation Philomath Sawmill: Scott Pederson, Human Resources/Safety Manager, telephone: (541) 929-4546, e-mail: 

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