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Loggers and The Logging Industry Safety & First Aid Recommendations

Recommended Safety and First Aid tips by CPR & First Aid Training Southeast Texas

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 Statistics per OSHA rank Logging as one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. The chain saws and logging machines pose hazards that could potentially kill or injure even the most experienced men. Your tools deal with massive weights and create the intense momentum of falling, rolling, and sliding trees and logs. That’s not even mentioning the dangerous environmental conditions and elements. There you are standing on uneven, unstable or slippery terrain; inclement weather including rain, snow, lightning, winds, and extreme heat and cold. Well that is not a career most could handle. The fact your work sites are dangers and not usually located where hospitals or first responders are immediately accessible makes it even more important to stay current with basic lifesaving skills. The men who are loggers, well they just must be made of some tough stuff. Tougher than many but still not invincible. When injuries occur its you that will be kneeling beside a coworker, not a first responder or doctor just you. Prepare yourself mentally for what you might see or feel like in a crisis, so you can set the panic in your back pocket and your life saving skills to the forefront. Regardless of the type of timber, where its being logged or the use of the wood the commonality is going home safely. Safely without regret or incessant what if’s or should’ve consuming your thoughts. No one is usually excited for CPR or First Aid Class, I understand that its no party to listen to couple hours of lecture but you’re here for a reason. Accidents happen, complacency takes our focus, equipment malfunctions and loggers die as a result.  Even if it’s the 864th day you have performed the same monotonous task please pay attention to what you’re doing and do not put yourself or others in danger. Respect experienced coworkers when they offer advice, respect inexperienced coworkers when they offer a safer way they have just learned.

Now imagine you are there, what you might see and what your role would be in the following instances:

·         He was only 37. ‘A logger, working as a choker-setter in a skyline-skidding operation was killed when the skyline lost tension, causing the carriage to fall and crush him It was his 5th year in the profession but unbelievably it was his first day with the employer.

·         He was only 33. A tree feller was killed while operating a chain saw. Using a 4-horsepower, 16-inch, bow-bar chain saw, the victim felled a 40-foot pine tree. He then used the bow-bar chain saw to cut the limbs from the felled tree. As the victim cut through a spring pole, the chain saw recoiled and kicked back, fatally striking him in the throat

·         He was a 51-year-old male foreman and skidder operator. He was fatally struck on the head by a falling tree while he was cutting another tree into logs (bucking). A coworker was felling a 58-foot poplar tree about 50 feet away from the victim. As the tree fell toward the victim, the timber cutter and another worker shouted warnings. However, the victim (who was wearing a protective helmet and ear plugs) apparently did not hear them. He was struck on the head and died instantly

Do not cut corners or form “just this once” habits. If there is a protocol, rule, or machine issue resolve it. It is your responsibility to promote safety and advocate for accident prevention.                                                                                                                                                        RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY: Everyone working in a wood harvesting operation is responsible for safety. Everyone must take the obligation seriously. Unsafe work practices, acts or conditions will absolutely result in injury. Safety is never to be compromised to production or product.

Sources:

·          Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Section (5)(a)(1)) Washington State Logging standard — WAC 296-54-573(7) — Logging machines-General).

·          https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/95-101/ [29 CFR 1910.266(h)(2)(iv)]

·          https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/logsafe.html appendix c logging contractor's safety and health program