Forestry Services

Cedar block harvester
Forest service work includes cedar block harvesting.

Forestry services work occurs nationwide, yet is often hidden from the public eye. Injury and illness rates among workers in the forestry services industry are 2 to 3 times the rates of the average US worker, and fatality rates are 10 times as high. It can be dangerous work, with job tasks involving the use of chainsaws, falling and burning trees and branches, carrying and lifting heavy loads, and frequent awkward and repetitive motions. This industry manages forests for future harvest, reforestation, ecosystem management, and fuel management to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

Common injuries include broken bones, open wounds, severe poison oak rashes, and dehydration. The largely immigrant, Latino workforce in this industry is essential to US forest management, yet vulnerable because of documentation status, lack of English proficiency, low literacy, working in remote locations under contracted employment, and little skills training. 

PNASH Selected Articles

Key Partner Resources

Featured PNASH Resources

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Forest Worker Safety Talks / Platica ssobre seguridad para los trabajadores forestales

Train with real worker stories to start conversations and give essential safety tips. In English and Spanish.

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Reality Tales Videos: Injuries in the Woods / Videos historias reales: Lesiones en los bosque

Real worker injury stories, told in Spanish with English subtitles, from immigrant workers conducting contract services in our U.S. forests.

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Spanish Glossary of Forestry Services Terms / Glosario de servicios forestales:
con motivación para la comprensión

Glossary of common Forestry Services terms in English and Spanish.

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PNASH Research

Forestry Workforce Location- and Wearable-based Activity Recognition to Quantify on-the Job Digital Health and Safety Metrics

NIOSH 2022-2027 | Robert Keefe, PhD and Eloise Zimbelman, PhD

Logging is among the most dangerous professions in the United States. Manual felling of timber with chainsaws and setting of cable log chokers accounted for 47% of injuries in Idaho between 2011-2014.

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Wildfires and Human Health

Science for Nature and People Partnership 2020-2021 | June Spector,MPH, MD

A Wildfires and Human Health working group led by a team of researchers at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy.

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Safety and Health of Latino Immigrant Forestry Services Workers in the Pacific Northwest

NIOSH 2014-2017 | Butch de Castro, PhD, MSN, MPH

The forest service workforce in the Pacific Northwest is largely immigrant, low-literate, and Spanish-speaking with unique vulnerabilities due to a lack of skills and safety training, occupational immobility, remote work locations, and small contr

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