The days of lumberjacks plying their trades in the forestry industry are becoming an antiquated concept. Modern-day technology has largely replaced those hard-working professionals who are still suffering severe injuries while using axes and chainsaws.
On far too many accusations, workers in remote areas present challenges in getting the timely care they need.
Surrounded by deadly dangers
Loggers are still the second highest-risk group for fatalities, with an average of 3.6 in 2021. The U.S. Census Bureau claims that even though fatalities have seen a reduction from 90 per 100,000 employees in 2021 to 82 per 100,000 in 2020. The tragic peak occurred in 2015, with 132 per 100,000.
Heavy machinery introduced to reduce hazards inherent in forestry actually became a primary cause. Specifically, falling objects and equipment account for nearly 80 percent of all work-related deaths. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that fatal injuries to forest and conservation employees are among the highest rates of illnesses and injuries.
Other hazards to forestry workers include:
- Falling trees and limbs
- Forest fires
- Allergic reactions to plants
- Petroleum products (gas, kerosene, and diesel fuel)
- Chemical exposure
- Encounters with wildlife
- Weather encounters
Protective clothing provided by employers is also essential and includes:
- Safety Boots
- Footwear coverings
- Protective legwear
- Hard hats and other types of head protection
- Eye and ear protection
Livelihoods and lives are at risk
Plying a trade in wooded areas creates risky, if not unpredictable, settings, mainly when trees and limbs are falling. Loggers should work in tandem, not on their own. For employers, proactive steps in the form of preventative policies and quality protective equipment can ensure a safer setting.