I. General Rules of Safety
A. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY
- The employer shall provide a safe work environment and enforce safe work practices.
- Each employee shall be held responsible for performing all work in a safe manner so that injuries to that person and to others will be avoided.
- Employer, supervisor, employee, or designated person shall instruct new employees in safe practices.
- Employees shall be familiar with the location and use of all safety, emergency care, and fire suppression equipment located at the jobsite.
- An employee shall notify his employer or supervisor before attempting any work which, in the employee's opinion, appears hazardous above and beyond normal operating conditions.
- An employee shall report all injuries to his employer or supervisor without delay, regardless of the nature of the injury.
- Good housekeeping of all work areas and equipment shall be practiced.
B. PERSONAL CONDITIONS
- Any employee who has intoxicating substances in his possession, uses them on the job, or reports to the jobsite under their influence shall be removed from the jobsite immediately and shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the employer.
- Indulgence in practical jokes, horseplay, scuffling, and other actions deemed unsafe by the employer are forbidden.
- Employees shall observe and adhere to all relevant employer operations and safety policies.
C. EMPLOYMENT OF MINORS
Logging and pulpwood operations are rated as hazardous occupations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Standards. No one under 18 years of age may be employed or allowed to work on or near any phase of a logging operation. The employment or use of minors on or near a logging operation is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Federal Child Labor Laws and is subject to severe penalties.
D. SEAT BELTS
For each vehicle or machine equipped with ROPS/FOPS or overhead guards, including any vehicle or machine provided by an employee, the employer shall assure that:
- A seat belt is provided for each vehicle or machine operator.
- Each employee uses the seatbelt while operating vehicle or machine.
- Each employee securely fastens seat belt to restrain the employee within the vehicle or machine cab.
- Each machine seat belt meets the requirements of the Society of Automotive Engineers Standards (SAE J386, June, 1985).
- Seat belts are not removed, or if removed, are replaced on any unit so equipped at the time of manufacture.
- Each seat belt is maintained in a serviceable condition.
E. WEATHER CONDITIONS
Work shall be terminated and employees moved to a place of safety when environmental conditions such as but not limited to electrical storms, high winds, heavy snow, heavy rain, extreme cold, dense fog, fires, mudslides, and darkness may endanger employees in the performance of their jobs.
- The employer shall provide training for each employee, including supervisors, at no cost to employees.
- Current employees assigned new work tasks, tools, equipment, or machines and new employees prior to starting work shall be trained immediately in at least the following:
- a. Recognition of and preventive measures for the safety hazards associated with their individual work tasks.
- b. General recognition and prevention of safety hazards in the logging industry.
- c. Procedures, practices, and requirements of the employer's worksite.
- Training must be provided whenever an employee demonstrates unsafe job performance.
- Employers shall record in writing and maintain a record as proof of compliance dates of training; periods when guidance is provided; and dates on which proficiency is demonstrated for current employees, new hires, and workers who change job responsibilities. Employees are not required to be retrained in initial training elements.
G. SAFETY MEETINGS
The employer shall hold safety meetings for each employee, individually or in groups, at least once each month.
The employer should maintain a monthly safety meeting record to document the employees present, safety topics discussed, and date of the meeting.
H. FRA TOP TEN POINTS OF LOGGING SAFETY
- Logging Business Owner Makes Safety #1 Priority (Safety is Job #1)
Demonstrate a genuine and consistent concern for safety so employees know logging safety is the firm's number one priority. Lead by example. Never bend the rules.
- Establish a Comprehensive Safety Training Program (Train Employees)
Prepare a written safety program. Train and closely monitor new employees during their first year on the job-they are the employees most likely to suffer an injury. Hold regular safety meetings to discuss OSHA regulations, incidents and close calls, and employee suggestions for safe work habits. Obtain First Aid and CPR training.
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (Wear PPE)
Get in the habit of wearing all appropriate personal protective equipment. It may save your life, or prevent serious injury. OSHA requires: hard hats, eye protection, hearing protection, and foot protection for all woods workers. Chain saw operators must wear cut resistant leg protection and logging boots. Equipment operators should wear seat belts. Wear high visibility clothing as well.
- Look For Overhead Hazards (Look Up!)
Every year dead limbs, lodged trees, and other overhead hazards kill and maim hundreds of loggers nationwide. All woods workers should practice "heads up" to avoid possible hazards. Remember: Gravity kills! Train employees to recognize overhead hazards and to safely eliminate the danger; for example, using a skidder to ground a lodged or setback tree before work continues.
- Work Outside of Strike Zone (Two Tree Lengths Rule)
Plan work so that woods workers are separated by at least two tree lengths of the trees being felled. This is especially important when manual felling or felling with a continuously rotating saw head is being done. Watch out for each other! This separation of workers while maintaining visual or audible contact with each other greatly reduces the risk of serious injury if an accident occurs.
- Practice Safe Directional Manual Felling (Chain Saw Training)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that logging is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Of those injured or killed, over sixty percent were engaged in cutting activities (felling, limbing, or bucking) with a chain saw at the time of their accidents. Selecting a safe direction of fall, creating the proper notch and hinge, protecting the hinge during the backcut, and proceeding on the escape path are some of the steps chain saw operators must take to fell a tree safely in the desired direction.
- Properly Maintain Your Equipment (Maintenance & Repair)
On fully mechanized logging operations, the greatest risk of injury occurs during equipment maintenance and repair. Logging safety experts suggest the following: Inspect your equipment before use. Establish a regular, preventative maintenance program on all equipment. Safely ground moving elements before maintenance and repair. Set the parking brake and place the transmission in park. Use the 3-point mount and dismount technique to avoid slips, trips, and falls when working on logging machines.
- Retain Valuable Logging Employees (Teamwork Important)
Implement adequate compensation and benefit plans as a means of retaining valuable, experienced employees and of keeping together a good, safe crew. Teamwork is important as it relates to logging safety. Reward employees for periods of accident-free work.
- Be All That You Can Be! (Good Physical and Mental Condition)
Many loggers are injured because they show up to work in poor mental or physical condition. They may be sick, distracted because of personal problems, on drugs, tired, or hung over. Send these woods workers home rather than risk injury. Exercise regularly and eat healthy. Leave personal problems at home.
- "There Is No Tree Out Here Worth Getting Hurt Over" (Don't Take Chances)
A favorite quote of former FRA President Ken Rolston, it simply means, don't take chances. Remember, no job is so important that your safety has to be jeopardized to accomplish it. Don't hurry! It's hard not to hurry at times, especially during periods of daily quotas. Make sure the entire logging crew remembers that safety is Job #1.