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

Occupational Safety and Health of Forest Workers

PNASH Pilot Project 2010-2011 | Robin Baker

The forest service workforce is a predominately Spanish-speaking and immigrant population that faces language barriers, isolated working environments, and dangerous working conditions.

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Sustainable Harvest Project

Laura Jane Musser Foundation 2008-2009 |

This stakeholder driven project aimed to reduce un-permitted harvesting of special forest products (SFPs) in the Forks, Washington area and increase the overall health of the environment and the workers.

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Safety and Health of Immigrant Cedar Block Harvesters on the Olympic Peninsula

NIOSH/CDC 2007-2009 |

Latino immigrant workers are increasingly finding employment as laborers in Pacific Northwest forests.

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