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.
Selected Articles & Resources
- Work Organization and Injury Outcomes among Latino Forest Workers
- Working in the Shadows: Safety and Health in Forestry Services in Southern Oregon
- At Work in the Woods: Occupational Hazards of Harvesting Non-Timber Forest Products in the Pacific
- Accident Analysis in Forestry: A practical field guide
- Occupational Safety and Health in Forest Harvesting and Silviculture - A compendium for practitioners and instructors