revised December 3, 2004

Logging contractors must provide all logging employees appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the work to be conducted. Hazards and exposures must be assessed and PPE provided to eliminate or minimize the risk of injury. Employers must also train employees properly to use, wear, and maintain the equipment. It is ultimately the responsibility of the employer to ensure the equipment is worn and cared for. It should also be a policy of the employer that all visitors to the job site have the proper PPE.

The Federal OSHA Logging Operations Standard (OSHA Act 29 CFR 1910.266) and OSHA Instruction CPL 2-1.22 set forth specific performance rules concerning PPE requirements. The Forest Resources Association, state forestry associations, and state logger associations or councils are recommended sources for OSHA standards and training materials. See also OSHA’s detailed and highly readable publication "Personal Protective Equipment."

A simple and uniform system for verifying OSHA-required PPE use is recommended. This system may take many forms but often involves a blanket policy which applies to all employees. Once a policy has been established, an employer can quickly survey the job site and observe PPE use. A growing number of employers are also adding to the OSHA standard policies which require high-visibility orange safety vests. Some employers provide standard color uniforms to aid rapid worker identification in the woods.

More specific policies are required for specialty jobs such as chain saw operation, metal cutting and welding, and truck driving. Truckers often deliver to multiple locations which may have different requirements for high-visibility vest and head, eye, and foot protection.

Employers must have a clear and concise policy on PPE which is communicated clearly to all employees. A table such as the one below is recommended as part of the company safety policy and procedures showing general requirements by job function. Employees should review and sign-off with acknowledgments on at least an annual basis. This policy communication could be coupled with an annual safety meeting that emphasizes proper PPE use and care.

Required PPE Off- Road Logging Equipment Sawhand Truck Driver Mechanic Visitor
Hard Hat          
Safety Boots          
Eye Protection          
Leg Protection          
Hearing Protection          
High-Visibility Vest          

 Prepared by the Southwide Safety Committee, Forest Resources Association Inc.