Timber products are South Carolina’s most valuable agriculture product, and this industry provides many jobs in our state. On the other hand, logging and forestry consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous industries for workers in the United States. For every 100,000 loggers, over 100 lose their lives every year. Here are five tips to make logging safer.
- Make and Follow a Safety Training Program
Nearly half of all logging and forestry injuries occur to workers with less than one year of experience on the job, so implementing a comprehensive safety training program for new employees is critical to workplace safety. Any new or experienced employees assigned to new tasks, tools or equipment must be trained appropriately before starting work. Employers must also hold regular safety meetings with each employee at least once a month to monitor safety practices and address concerns. If you’re employed in this industry, is this happening in your workplace?
- Maintain and Repair Equipment Properly
For companies with fully mechanized logging procedures, workplace injuries occur most often during equipment maintenance and repair. Put in place a regular maintenance schedule for all equipment to prevent dangerous malfunctions. Before performing repairs or maintenance, turn off the equipment make sure all moving parts have stopped. When repairing logging machines, use the three-point mount and dismount to avoid slips and trips. Employees, is this the procedure at your job?
- Use Personal Protective Equipment
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPEs) is one of the best ways to prevent a workplace injury. Always use the appropriate PPEs when you’re on the job:
- Hard hats protect you from head injuries due to a fall or falling objects.
- Logger boots with good tread help you maintain your balance and prevent slips and falls.
- Gloves help you keep a firm grip on tools and logs, keep your hands protected from inclement weather, and shield against cuts and scrapes.
- Safety glasses protect your eyes from sawdust and other foreign objects.
- Use Safe Tree Felling Practices
Accidents that occur while cutting trees with a chainsaw make up 60 percent of overall logging and forestry accidents. Stay safe when manually felling trees by planning before acting. Consider the tree’s natural falling direction, safe directions of fall, weather conditions, and how much hinge wood will be necessary to guide the fall. Always map out an escape route for all loggers before cutting. While cutting the tree, be sure to make a proper notch and hitch and protect the hinge during the back cut. If there are power lines near the tree, always assume that they are active. Do not cut trees within 10 feet of a power line unless you are a trained line clearance trimmer.
- Maintain Physical and Mental Health
The many dangers in logging and forestry mean that loggers must be physically and mentally healthy at all times during the work day. Take care of your mind and body by staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and eating regularly. If you suspect that you might be distracted by personal problems or health issues, explain to your supervisor that it would be unsafe for you to perform certain job duties. Remember that no job is more important than your life and safety.
Do You Need a Worker’s Compensation Accident Attorney in South Carolina?
No matter how safe you are on the job, the risk of injury is always present. If you’ve been injured at work in South Carolina, schedule your free case evaluation with personal injury attorney F. Craig Wilkerson or call us at: