II. Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines
The use of proper personal protective equipment is essential for reducing logger injuries. Often hazardous elements cannot be removed or corrected, therefore, it is vital to protect the worker. Proper personal protective equipment is as important a part of any logging operation as a chainsaw, skidder, and loader. Being a professional logger means wearing safety equipment everyday. "You can't be a pro without being safe and you can't be safe without being a pro." Properly protected and trained workers have better work habits, better attitudes, and produce more wood at lower costs. Proper personal protective equipment properly used can greatly reduce the number of logger injuries. Table 1 shows what PPE must be worn by loggers based on job activity.
A. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
- Gloves, leg protection, hard hats, eye protection, and first aid kits shall be provided by the employer at no cost to the employee.
- The employer shall assure that personal protective equipment, including personal protective equipment provided by an employee, is maintained in a serviceable condition.
- The employer shall assure that personal protective equipment, including personal protective equipment provided by an employee, is inspected before initial use each workshift. Defects or damage shall be repaired or the unserviceable personal protective equipment shall be replaced before work is commenced.
B. HARD HAT
Approved hard hats shall be worn by all persons present on the logging operation including log truck drivers and anyone on or near the woods or landing areas.
C. EYE PROTECTION
Safety glasses, face shields, or goggles shall be worn by all workers involved in activities where wood chips, sawdust, flying particles, foreign objects (twigs, limbs, branches) may injure, puncture, scratch, or damage workers' eyes.
Eye protection shall be required for chainsaw operators and also for equipment operators where cab protection or a windshield is not adequate.
D. HEARING PROTECTION
Hearing protection shall be worn by all workers operating chainsaws or woods equipment.
All workers in the immediate area of any mechanized equipment shall use hearing protection.
E. SAFETY FOOTWEAR
Heavy-duty logging boots that are waterproof or water repellant, cover and provide support to the ankle and protect the employee from penetration by chainsaws shall be worn by all workers. Chainsaw operators must wear boots or socks or overboots that will protect them against contact with a running chainsaw. "Slip on" boots are not to be used by workers involved in logging operations due to the lack of adequate ankle support.
F. SAFETY CHAINSAW CHAPS OR SAFETY PANTS
CHAPS OR SAFETY PANTS SHALL BE WORN BY ALL TIMBER FELLERS, LIMBERS, AND BUCKERS, and any other workers using chainsaws. Leg protection of ballistic nylon or other leg protection the employer demonstrates provides equivalent protection shall be used and shall cover the full length of the thigh to the top of the boot on each leg.
Chainsaw cuts to the legs are one of the most frequent injuries reported from logging operations. When leg protection is used by chainsaw operators the chances for saw cuts are greatly reduced. There are many varieties of leg protection available which are light weight, comfortable, and affordable. Leg protection provides a saw operator reaction time to remove the saw from the leg area before a severe injury occurs. Protective chaps or pants have proven to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of chainsaw cuts to the legs
G. HAND PROTECTION
Cotton gloves or other suitable gloves providing equivalent protection shall be worn by all workers handling wire rope.
Employees handling cable or wire rope, operating a chainsaw, or performing other work potentially hazardous to hands shall wear hand protection.
H. RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
Respiratory protection shall be provided and used where workers are exposed to dust, smoke, gas fumes, vapors, sprays, or adverse environmental conditions that may affect breathing.
Workers shall wear respiratory protection where operator cabs are not properly enclosed and where workers are exposed to such conditions as extreme dust, engine fumes, and engine smoke.
Workers shall be trained in the use of respiratory protection
Woods workers shall wear properly fitted clothes which are appropriate for the job.
Floppy cuffs, dangling shirt tails, loose or frayed material that might catch or snag on equipment controls, moving parts, handles, doors, etc. should not be worn. Cuffless pants should be worn.