TN 11 (11-11)

RS 02101.231 Sawmill Operators

A. Definitions

1. Sawmill

A sawmill is used to convert logs into rough lumber or other unfinished products.

2. Sawmill operator

A sawmill operator performs practical tasks in a sawmill or timber yard. Duties may include operating machinery to cut and process logs into timber.

B. Sawmill operators as employees

A sawmill operator is an employee when the:

  • company has the right to tell the operator what hours to work and requires the operator to keep records of the amount of product produced daily;

  • company moves the mill from one tract to another, as the company requires;

  • operator cannot work for others;

  • operator has no business expenses or opportunity for profit or risk of loss;

  • operator receives a salary or the company pays the operator on a piecework basis;

  • operator picks a crew to operate the mill, but the company pays them and can fire them for poor work;

  • purchaser of the services pays the cost to run the mill, even though the operator may own the mill; and

  • services may terminate, by either party at any time.

C. Sawmill operators as independent contractors

A sawmill operator is an independent contractor when:

  • the operator contracts to do a specific job, using his or her own methods;

  • the operator contracts to saw, or harvest and saw, timber at so much per thousand board feet. The operator may bind himself or herself by contract to complete the job within a set time, or to produce a daily or weekly quota;

  • the operator has a substantial investment because he or she owns all or part of the mill and equipment used to move logs, lumber, or other forest products;

  • the operator hires, pays, and directs his or her own crews;

  • the operator is free to work for others;

  • the operator is in a position to lose or profit from the management of the workers and care of the equipment;

  • the operator does not have to do the work personally, but is responsible for completing the work;

  • there is no restriction of activities, as long as the sawmill produces products that meet the overall contract specifications; or

  • the work calls for independent thought and action based on business judgment, experience, and training.

D. Control factors for services performed by sawmill operators

In this field, sawmill operators generally perform services on the purchaser of the services’ premises. There are no fixed work hours, and the pay is computed on a footage basis. These factors may exist in either employment relationships or in independent contractor cases. Give these factors less weight than other factors.

The principal factors that indicate control are when:

  • the operator must perform the services personally on a full-time basis;

  • the company must approve the worker to hire and fire assistants;

  • the operator has no business expenses or opportunity for profit or risk of loss;

  • the operator is not paid on a lump sum basis;

  • the operator may end the relationship at any time; and

  • the operator cannot work for others.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0302101231
RS 02101.231 - Sawmill Operators - 11/10/2011
Batch run: 11/10/2011
Rev:11/10/2011