Reducing Workloads for Older Loggers in Physically Demanding Logging Tasks with Synthetic Rope

(PNASH Pilot, 2009-2011) In the US, logging is among the top three most dangerous jobs, and when all factors are considered, logging is likely the most dangerous job and the most exertive work. Data in OR, WA, and ID show that 50% of loggers are at least 45 years old -  and that percentage is growing. This pilot project assessed the ergonomic and economic benefits of using synthetic rope to replace wire rope in standardized logging tasks for older workers (>age 40) compared to current practices and younger workers. The project found that using synthetic rope as a replacement for wire rope in appropriate tasks can reduce workloads and offer more stable conditions for walking in steep and uneven terrain. As more firms use synthetic rope, better information on its durability can be assessed. The project showed the next generation of forest operations researchers that heart rate measures can contribute to research on improvement efforts.

Synthetic rope is available is smaller quantities from rigging shops in Oregon and Washington along with synthetic rope log truck wrappers. Larger quantities and information are available from manufacturers at: (log truck wrappers)