Portland, OR: Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, 2010 Oct; :1-52
Danger in logging is ancient. In the Middle Ages, according to a history of housing, when a Chinese emperor demanded wood for building from a forested province, the peasants "wept with despair until they choked." For every thousand people who went into the mountains in search of wood, the people said, five hundred came back. Today, the fatality rate for loggers is far less than 50 percent. Heavy machinery and rigging systems help control the massive forces involved in moving logs from the woods; yet trees and logs, machines and rigging, still impose a heavy cost. Combining the frequency and rate of lives lost, direct logging occupations are the most hazardous work in Oregon. This safety booklet tells the stories of 18 fatal incidents in yarding operations in Oregon over 6 years, 2003-2008, with accompanying safety recommendations. Fatal incidents in yarding indicate five hazard areas: rigging activities, the landing area, skidding machinery, helicopters, and transportation. Narratives of the incidents may help to remind loggers of the many activities where extra caution is necessary. This booklet also presents an overview of seven elements in "Effective Logging Safety," bringing safety factors found in other fields into a logging context. Many detailed tasks, handling things and materials, must be learned in logging to avoid catastrophe. The seven elements address dispositions instead of things. 1. Management commitment. 2. Planning. 3. Supervision. 4. Communication. 5. Human Factors. 6. Environment. 7. Risk Management. The booklet also presents a summary of Oregon safety rules related to yarding, and information resources; and an example of a fatality investigation report by the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) program. Information provided here is designed to promote safety in logging. Practical experience is necessary to make it work. Be sure to get hands-on training in the field with experienced loggers.