Volume 02, Number 2

Fall 2002

Causes of U.S. logger-related fatalities 1992-1999
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) each year, tracking work-related fatalities in all 50 states. The Forest Resource Association (FRA) was granted permission to access the CFOI database information about 1992 through1999 to analyze the major causes of logging-related fatalities. The CFOI database includes information about each victim’s age, race and gender; nature of the injury (body part affected, source of injury and event); employee status (occupation, work activity and duration of employment); and date, time and location of the incident that resulted in the fatal injury, as well as a description of the injury. To protect the victim’s identity, the database does not identify fatal injuries by state — a provison that prevents a geographical analysis of fatality trends that might assist in prioritizing state or regional safety initiatives.

During 1992 through 1999, log truck and vehicle accidents caused 4 percent of all reported fatalities of logging supervisors and workers.

average number of fatalities a year during this eightyear period was 124. Of the 991 total logging-related fatalities included in the CFOI database, 67 percent resulted from contact with falling objects, such as trees, limbs, tops and logs.

FRA sorted the CFOI database on the basis of two occupation codes, 494 (logging supervisors) and 496 These incidents include: (timber cutting and logging workers), to identify • a tree striking the logger felling it or striking another worker; loggers suffering fatal occupational injuries from 1992 • parts of the tree striking workers during felling, through 1999. limbing or topping; and • logs striking workers during loading, unloading The number of reported fatalities for loggers dropped or skidding operations. from a high of 146 in 1992, to a low of 107 in 1998, and then increased slightly to 112 in 1999. The
Fatalities, continued on page 3

• Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry •

The view from here
Notes from Ed LaFavor, LogSafe coordinator

In these troubled times, the bottom line of logging has almost disappeared. The cost of conducting business is ever increasing, causing many to question staying in this industry. The weather this summer did not cooperate either. The northwestern portion of the state was first to receive heavy rainfall this summer. From there, the rain seemed to wander around the state, causing severe flooding in many areas. Many loggers had to stop their logging activity for awhile due to excessive wet conditions. To help with the cost of conducting business, many loggers have taken advantage of the Safety Abatement Grant Program administered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. The Minnesota Legislature created this program in 1993, under Minnesota Statutes §79.253, to make workplaces safer and healthier. The Safety Grant Program awards funds with a dollar for dollar match up to $10,000, to qualifying employers for projects designed to reduce the risk of injury or illness to their employees. The state’s first logging business that was awarded a grant, received it in December 1997 for a loader. Since then, there have been more than 40 logging businesses that have received grants, most being awarded the full $10,000 amount. These grants have helped improve the safety of these workplaces. The improvements have included delimbers, cranes, slashers, loaders, feller-bunchers, bulldozers, CTL machines, processors, personal protective equipment, low-boy trailers, skidders, excavators and saw heads. In the early years of the grant program, applications were received on a quarterly basis, then biannually. Currently, applications are accepted continuously and grants are awarded monthly. Since July 1, 2001, an employer that has received a grant for a particular worksite will not be eligible to receive another grant for that worksite during the two years after the date of the award. For more information about the Safety Grants Program, call the safety grants administrator at 1-800-731-7232 or the Logsafe Office at (218) 362-5915. This is a good program that will help us LogSafe.

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Fall 2002

Fatalities, continued from page 1 ... Categories of logging deaths, 1992-1999 Falling objects Equipment Vehicle Chain saw Other 67% 14% 4% 2% 13%

Other causes of fatal injuries account for 13 percent of the total reported deaths of loggers. These miscellaneous causes of fatal injuries include: electrocution, falls, suicides/shootings and death from unknown causes. The “Other” category includes six electrocutions and eight shootings or suicides out of 30 fatalities reported for the 1998 through 1999 period.

A closer examination of logging fatalities for 1992 through The time of day was recorded for 621 out of 991 1999, reveals 78.1 percent of deaths caused by contact logging fatalities for 1992 through 1999. The highest with falling objects occurred while felling trees. number of logging deaths occurred during the 10 to 11 a.m. time period, with a second spike (1 to 2 p.m.) Contact with equipment, such as skidders, feller- in fatalities following lunch. bunchers and log loaders, resulted in 14 percent of all reported fatal logging injuries. The top three causes A recent study by the New Zealand Logging Industry of death in this category are: Research Organization (LIRO) also revealed a peak in logger fatalities during late-morning hours. • being struck by or run over by equipment; • equipment rollovers; and Further research discovered many loggers skip • being injured while performing maintenance or breakfast and drink large amounts of coffee (caffeine repairs tasks. is a diuretic) that causes them to become dehydrated and run low on food “energy” before stopping for From 1992 through 1999, 28 out of 37 equipment- lunch, increasing their risk of a work-related injury. related deaths occurred when logging equipment ran Proper hydration and nutrition can help prevent over woods workers (15 incidents) or equipment logging accidents. rolled over operators (13 incidents). Log truck and vehicle accidents caused 4 percent of Used with permission from the February 2002, all reported fatalities of logging supervisors and Forest Resource Assocation, Technical Release # workers. This figure does not include fatalities to full- 02-R-3. time truck drivers (occupational code 804) that transport raw wood products. Chain-saw-related fatalities comprised only 2 percent of all logging-related deaths during the eight-year period. Of these fatalities, most are associated with the logger falling onto a running chain saw after being struck by a falling tree, limb or top.

U.S. logger fatalities by time of day, 1992-1999

100 80 60 40 20 0

84 64 34 9 12

74 55

71 68

55 51 22 22

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Fall 2002

Injury rates for the logging industry in Minnesota
Using Minnesota workers’ compensation data, these tables display a five-year overview of the indemnity claims** for the state’s logging industry. From 1997 through 2001, 36 percent of all logging industry indemnity claims involved transportation work and 26 percent of accident claims were caused by strains.

Part of body injured, logging industry indemnity claims, Minnesota, 1997-2001

Nature of injury, logging industry indemnity claims, Minnesota, 1997-2001

multiple parts 9%

head-neck 10%

all other injury types* 21%
upper extremity 24%

contusions 17%

lower extremity 33%

cuts 25% sprains 24%
trunk-body system 6% back-spine 18%

fractures 13%

* Includes multiple injuries, dislocations, cumulative injuries and illnesses.

Occupation of injured worker, logging industry indemnity claims, Minnesota, 1997-2001
other 2%

Cause of accident, logging industry indemnity claims, Minnesota, 1997-2001

laborers 15%

other causes caught 5% 6%

forestry 30%

struck by 21%

cut 20%

transportation 36%

crafts 6% operators 12%
strain 26%

fall 15% motor vehicle 7%

** An indemnity claim involves paid workers’ compensation benefits and most indemnity claims involve more than three days of total or partial disability.

LogSafe newsletter


Fall 2002

Maintenance and replacement of equipment windows
by Dan Phillips, Bangor, Maine Courtesy of the Forest Resource Association

The cabs on heavy equipment have been designed to protect the operator in a variety of ways. Enclosed cabs often have windows made of polycarbonate material. This material requires special care and may lose its ability to protect the operator as the machine ages. It is important to know how to maintain this material, and to know when it has lost its protective properties. The material of which windows and skylights on equipment are made is often called Plexiglas. Often the equipment has no additional window bars or other steel structure to protect the operator. This Plexiglas is often a General Electric product called Lexon®, which is a safety-glazing material. However, this material deteriorates with age and loses some of its strength, due to the effects of sunlight. Working conditions, cleaning methods and impacts from rocks, branches or debris can also affect its integrity.

Working conditions, cleaning methods and impacts from rocks, branches or debris can affect cab windows’ integrity.

Any of these conditions can cause Lexon® to lose enough strength to prevent protecting the operator as designed. Weakened conditions can result from cleaning with inappropriate cleaning solvents. Normal window cleaning fluids, especially those containing ammonia, fuel or brake cleaners, or ether may damage Lexon®.

Lexon® window and skylight material must be Follow these guidelines for maintenance: replaced when it: • Pre-rinse glazing with water to remove gritty • is four years old, regardless of appearance. substances. • becomes yellow or hazed. • Wash glazing with a mild solution of household • is scratched on either side with scratches that can be liquid detergent and warm water. Lemon Pledge is felt with the fingernail (.003 of an inch or more). recommended for Lexon® or MarGuard®. It • has cracks coming from the edges or mounting holes provides a waxy protective cover. or fine cracks in the surface area. • Apply cleaner with a sponge or soft cloth. Rinse • has contacted any fluids that have caused cloudiness. with water and dry with a clean chamois cloth or soft rubber squeegee. • Do not use abrasive or highly alkaline cleaners. • Impacts from branches and stems, as well as overtightening the frame hardware, can cause cracks. • Do not operate windshield wipers on a dry surface. • Do not clean with metal blades or scrapers. The original equipment manufacturer, your local dealer or a local glass retailer can provide the proper maintenance information regarding your window glazing.
LogSafe newsletter 5 Fall 2002

LogSafe registration
Seminar date Location

Company Address City Phone

________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ State ZIP (_____)__________________________________

Name Address City, state, ZIP Phone Name Address City, state, ZIP Phone Name Address City, state, ZIP Phone Name Address City, state, ZIP Phone

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ (____)______________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ (____)______________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ (____)______________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ (____)______________________________
Photocopy form to register additional employees. Please return by mail (see reverse side) or send via fax at: (651) 284-5739.

This information can be made available in alternative formats by calling the Department of Labor and Industry at 1-800-342-5354 or (651) 297-4198/TTY. If you need an accommodation to enable you to fully participate in this event, please contact Ed LaFavor at (218) 362-5915 or (651) 297-4198/TTY.

LogSafe newsletter


Fall 2002

Please affix sufficient postage here.

LogSafe Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry 1754 Janet Lake Road Hibbing, MN 55746

2002 Fall LogSafe seminars
First week of October Oct. 9 Oct. 15 Oct. 16 Oct. 17 Oct. 22 Oct. 23 Oct. 24 Dec. 19 Rochester North Shore International Falls Bemidji Brainerd Grand Rapids Eveleth Cloquet Chisholm Call LogSafe Office for details, registration Grand Superior Lodge Holiday Inn, Hwy. 71 National Guard Armory, 1430 23rd St. N.W. National Guard Armory, 1115 Wright St. National Guard Armory, 930 N.E. 1st Ave. Days Inn (formerly Eveleth Inn), Hwy. 53 Cloquet Forestry Center, 175 University Road Ironworld Discovery Center

(Castle Danger, 10 miles north of Two Harbors on Hwy. 61)

Note: Participants only have to attend one full-day seminar. Each seminar is 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This free one-day event includes all training materials and lunch. LogSafe agenda
There will be two tracks offered at each LogSafe session: 1. CPR and first-aid certification and recertification — Two half-day sessions for first-time training or recertification (CPR training in the morning, first-aid training in the afternoon) 2. High-speed disc-saw safety, mechanized-logging safety and fire prevention training — All-day session about high-speed disc-saw safety, mechanized logging safety and fire prevention training LogSafe newsletter 7 Fall 2002

Minnesota OSHA Offices
St. Paul 443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, MN 55155 Duluth 5 N. Third Ave. W. Suite 402 Duluth, MN 55802 1-877-470-OSHA (651) 284-5050 (218) 723-4678

Mankato (507) 389-6501 410 Jackson St., #520 Mankato, MN 56001 Workplace Safety Consultation 300 Logs/posters Fed publications MN Rules 1-800-657-3776 (651) 284-5060 (651) 284-5042 (202) 219-4667 (651) 297-3000 1-800-652-9747 1-800-DIAL-DLI 1-800-342-5354 (218) 362-5915

Safety grant cleans up costs
Petty and Son’s Timber Products, Wahkon, Minn., purchased a power washer in July 2002, with the assistance of a $10,000 safety grant from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Safety grants are limited to $10,000 a project. The employer must provide at least $1 in project costs for every dollar awarded. Grant applications are accepted any time and grants are awarded on a monthly basis. For more information or to request a grant application visit http://www.doli.state.mn.us/wsc.html or call the safety grants administrator at (651) 284-5162 or 1-800-731-7232.

Workers’ Comp Hotline Logsafe Program

Address: Logsafe Program 1754 Janet Lake Road Hibbing, MN 55746

LogSafe is a publication of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Its purpose is to help the logging industry establish and maintain safe and healthy work environments. This newsletter can be made available in alternative formats by calling 1-800-DIAL-DLI or (651) 297-4196/TTY.

LogSafe Newsletter


Fall 2002
Prsrt Std US Postage PAID Permit No 171 St. Paul, MN

Communications Office 443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, MN 55155

LogSafe newsletter


Fall 2002