By Darwin F. Johnson on April 27th, 2017 in Atlanta Workers Comp, Catastrophic Workplace Injury, injury prevention, Macon Workers Comp, Savannah Worker's Comp, work injuries, work injury, Workers Compensation, workplace injuries, workplace injury
While it doesn’t account for as much of our economy as areas like the Pacific Northwest, logging still exists in Georgia. With that said, there are a sizeable number of people who work in the logging industry, all of whom are entitled to the same protections as you and me. The bad news for loggers is they have, statistically speaking, the deadliest job in United States.
While the exact stats vary from year to year, the death rate among loggers is by far the highest of any profession in the U.S. (excluding military personnel). As a workman’s comp lawyer from Atlanta, I want to go over some details about loggers in our state and nationwide.
Providing a Safe Workspace
Every worker in America, regardless of their profession, is entitled to a safe work space. But logging sites are inherently dangerous. Even if the weather conditions aren’t threatening on a given day, the heavy lumber and machinery combined with the nature of gravity and physics equals a less than ideal environment for workers to stay safe in.
So what happens then?
The best thing a logger can do is discern whether his or her employer is taking the necessary precautions to keep their employees safe. While the job is dangerous no matter what, an employer that cares about their employees could be the difference between life and death.
OSHA has taken extensive measures to ensure loggers’ safety. According to OSHA, their two most frequently cited standards in the logging and forestry industry are:
- Logging operations violations
- Hazard communication
For 2016, there were 144 total citations issued by OSHA for violations of all standards relevant to forestry and logging (nationwide).
How to Stay Safe on the Job
The fact of the matter is, nearly 20 percent of all logging employee on-the-job fatalities involve machinery accidents. With that said, it’s imperative that you are extensively trained on the machinery you operate. It’s also crucial for your employer to provide machinery that is not faulty, and in sound condition.
Always wear protective gear while you’re logging. Cover your head, hands, feet and all components of your face with the proper equipment, even if it’s hot outside. Inspect your equipment and protective gear regularly. It’s ultimately up to you to ensure that the tools you use are in their appropriate condition.
Understand that protective gear does not eliminate the potential for accidents. Use your judgement and be aware of your surroundings, and potentially dangerous situations, at all times. You can never be too careful.
Chainsaw injuries affect loggers’ hands, arms and legs more than any part of the body. Be fully aware of how yours works, and how to use it. Always audit your chainsaw for problems before a shift.
Whether you’re in the logging profession or something else, you are entitled to proper training and safe working conditions. If those are not provided to you, and an accident occurs while you’re on the job, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. As Atlanta’s worker’s compensation lawyer, I’m here to help you get the justice and peace of mind you deserve.