Logging

Logging yard
Logging yard

The forestry sector is among the top ten manufacturing employers in the US, and yet logging work is among the top three most dangerous. Logging involves exposures to a wide variety of hazards, including: work in close proximity to heavy equipment and trucks; tree falls, log movements and falling objects; ergonomic issues; hand-arm and whole-body vibration; noise, and; environmental factors. The fatality rate for loggers  recently averaged 84 deaths per 100,000 workers. This represents a steady decline in fatalities, yet is still 23 times greater than the overall US rate. Washington and Oregon represent about 20% of total US logging employment.

Logging is characterized by small businesses, comprising only 0.5% of all US employment, but accounts for 2% of all workplace fatalities. Smaller logging contractors have mortality risks ten times higher than larger firms. Injuries are also very common in logging..Learn more in this US Bureau of Labor Statistics' Beyond the Numbers article on logging.

In coming years the logging sector will emerge from the recession with a workforce substantially reduced in numbers and skills. Increased mechanization of logging is changing the nature of the hazards and is generally safe, yet these new technologies introduce new hazards to address. There is a need to build this valuable worforce’s skills and knowledge to improve their safety. Our forestry and logging research priorities are developed with the  participation of logging stakeholders.

PNASH Selected Articles

Regional and National Resources

Other Key Partner Resources

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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