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Volume 98, Number 1 Spring 1998

Two logging companies awarded safety grants
Gary Brower and Paul Stromberg of BrowerStromberg Logging, Kelliher, Minn., wrap up their long work week. They recently received a safety grant from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to help keep their workplace safe.
Photo: Ed LaFavor, Labor and Industry.

Two Minnesota logging companies were awarded safety grants in January 1998. Brower-Stromberg Logging and Maturi Timber received grants from Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Workplace Safety Consultation. As part of the grant application process, a safety consultation visit was completed at their job sites in December. “Each site was in good ‘OSHA’ condition,” said Tom Vosberg, Safety Consultant, Labor and Industry.
(See Grants, page 6.)

Vern Schmalz of Maturi Timber, Inc., Chisholm, Minn. is ready to start his day in the woods.
Photo: Ed LaFavor, Labor and Industry.

Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry
443 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155

The view from here
Editor’s Note: This is a new feature written by Ed LaFavor, the new LogSafe program coordinator. I have been involved in the logging industry since 1978 and worked for various equipment and engine dealers in the Grand Rapids, Hibbing and Virginia areas. My work experience with these companies has helped determine my expertise of diesel engines. I have been a logging contractor since 1990 and I have a fully mechanized operation that has helped me understand the pitfalls of operating a logging business. I have also been a member on the LogSafe Advisory Committee since fall 1996.
Since 1983, I have worked with my brother in commercial fishing in Alaska. We owned three commercial fishing boats. Stories from these boats could fill a novel. However, my brothers will continue to fish and I will keep my feet on dry ground. My background enables me to help loggers work effectively. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to be the LogSafe coordinator and proud of the people that I represent. I only knew Gordy Peterson, a former LogSafe coordinator, a little, but I will continue to do what he began. I am committed to this program and will work hard to continue on the logging road Gordy and others helped pave. Logging is one of the experiences I enjoy most. There are times when logging can be challenging, but all-inall, it’s rewarding. My goal as project coordinator is to help loggers understand and implement proper OSHA standards. Besides participating in the LogSafe training program, I hope you will take advantage of the OSHA consultation services available. Please contact me if you have any questions at (888) 234-1217 or evenings at (218) 263-7045. Thank you for the warm reception from those I have had the pleasure to meet. See you in the spring and in the meantime, log safe.

AWAIR Act is amended to comply with requirements
The list of industries that must comply with the AWAIR (A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction) Act is being amended to comply with a statutory requirement that the list be reviewed and updated every two years. The current Standards Industrial Classification (SIC) list was adopted in January 1996. The logging industry will remain on the SIC list. Logging employers should have adopted and implemented an AWAIR program. AWAIR requires employers to complete the following: 1. Develop a written workplace safety and health program that includes an explanation of how managers and employees are responsible to implement a program and how the continued participation of management will be established; 2. Explain the methods that will be used to identify, analyze and control new or existing hazards, conditions and operations; 3. Include details of how the plan will be communicated to all affected employees so that they are informed of work-related hazards and controls; 4. Identify how workplace accidents will be reviewed; 5. Explain how safe work practices and rules will be enforced. 2

Sawhead debris puts feller-buncher operators at risk
Feller buncher machines equipped with full rotation lateral tilt heads, also known as high rotation saw felling heads, are capable of endangering the machine operator as well as individuals on the ground. Although experienced safe operators may be less likely to be injured than inexperienced operators, no one is immune from potential severe injury or fatality from these felling heads. Full rotation lateral tilt heads have the ability to rotate from 240 through 360 degrees. The felling heads can be moved to direct rocks, wood, broken sawhead teeth and other debris toward the operator’s cab. Any material discharged towards the operator cab has the potential to pass through the cab window and injure or kill the operator. Manufacturers have reported unspecified nonfatal injuries to operators running machines equipped with these heads. Prevention: n Follow all owner manual’s safety and maintenance procedures. n Operate the heads so that debris discharge is not projected towards the operator’s cab. n Inspect sawteeth, sawtooth holders, all retaining bolts, sleeves, nuts, sawdisks, the machine and windshield frequently for scratches. Scratches reduce the windshield strength.

Hydraulic oil leak - mechanical snakebite
Hydraulic timber harvesting equipment has become more and more common in the woods. It uses high hydraulic operating pressures. The increased frequency of injuries which involve these high-pressure hydraulic systems indicates a serious hazard to operators and mechanics. A pinhole leak in hydraulic hoses where operating pressures range from 3,000 to 7,000 psi is not only difficult to detect; it is also dangerous. A worker may notice a damp, oily, dirty place near a hydraulic line and run a hand or finger along the lineto find a leak. An injury can occur from a high-pressured stream of hydraulic oil which can slice skin and inject the toxic substance into the tissues, or, if the “oil laser” opens a blood vessel, the toxin can be injected directly into the bloodstream. Once in the circulatory system, the toxin spreads rapidly throughout the body. An accidental injection may only produce a slight, stinging sensation initially which may cause workers to ignore the injury. Unfortunately, within a short time, the wound will throb painfully which indicates tissue injury has already begun. All injuries should be reported as soon as they happen.

Prevention: n Improve awareness. Reminder workers during worksite safety meetings. n Carryout troubleshooting correctly. Ensure first that the machine is in a zero energy state. Inspect hoses from a safe distance, at least three feet away. n Establish a rigorous hose selection criteria and maintenance schedule. Color keying high pressure hoses may alert workers to potential danger.

The Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry in cooperation with Lumberman’s Underwriting Alliance The Minnesota Timber Producers’ Association Associated Contract Loggers

April 2 April 6 April 8 or April 9 Rochester Tofte Cloquet Holiday Inn South 1630 South Broadway Birch Grove Center Highway 61 Cloquet Forestry Center 175 University Road Holiday Inn Highway 53 Holiday Inn Highway 71 Northern Inn Highway 2 W Sawmill Inn 2301 Pokegama Holiday Inn 2115 South Sixth Street

April 13 or April 14 April 15 or April 16

Eveleth International Falls

April 20 or April 21


April 22 or April 23 May 6 or May 7

Grand Rapids Brainerd

Note: Participants only have to attend one full-day session.

Date Company Street City Zip Phone Detach and return to: LogSafe Labor and Industry 443 Lafayette Road St. Paul, MN 55110 Location Name Address Name Address

This information can be made available in alternative formats by calling the Department of Labor and Industry at (800) 342-5354 or (612) 297-4198/TTY. If you need an accommodation to enable you to fully participate in this event, please contact Ed LaFavor at (888) 234-1217 or (612) 297-4198/TTY.


The Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry in cooperation with Lumberman’s Underwriting Alliance The Minnesota Timber Producers’ Association Associated Contract Loggers


8:00 a.m.

WELCOME INTRODUCTION AND UPDATES Track I First Aid/CPR Track II First Aid/CPR Refresher BREAK Ergonomics Track III Chain saw

8:30 a.m.

10:00 a.m. 10:15 a.m.

12 - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.

LUNCH Right to Know Claims Management OSHA Inspection BREAK Mechanized Safety

3:00 p.m.

4 - 4:30 p.m.


LogSafe Advisory Committee
There is a vacancy for an independent contractor on the LogSafe Committee. Interested individuals should contact Jim Collins at (612) 296-5433 or Ed LaFavor at (888) 234-1217. The Advisory Committee will continue to provide improvements to Minnesota’s logging industry through the LogSafe Program. Current committee members are listed below. Bill Jokela Dan Lundberg Larry Hogrefe Mike Turner (218) 879-3007 (218) 722-5013 (218) 467-3291 (218) 722-5442 Harvey Burski Rodney Hooker David Amundson (218) 628-5100 (218) 266-3982 (218) 751-7815


Grants, continued from page 1

NIOSH issues a new ergonomics reference
Todd Loushine, Sr. Safety Consultant Carol Brotski, Sr. Safety Investigator Many industries today are exposed to ergonomic hazards. Workrelated musculoskeletal disorders (WRMD) can affect employees from the neck bone to the ankle bone. A good ergonomics program can reduce WRMD, save money, increase productivity, improve quality, boost morale and reduce absenteeism. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a resource manual, Elements of Ergonomic Program: A Primer based on Workplace Evaluations of Musculoskeletal Disorders (Publications No. 97-117). Terms are defined and how to identify basic ergonomics problems is discussed. Additional topics include safety and health plans, management commitment and employee participation, training—with an emphasis on self-evaluation and correction, controls and post-ergonomic injury care. A “toolbox” contains research/case study results, checklists, diagrams, references and specific information to address ergonomics problems in the workplace. Copies of NIOSH documents are available from:
NIOSH Publications Dissemination 4676 Columbia Parkway Cincinnati, OH 45226 (800) 356-4674 or

Brower-Stromberg Logging will use its grant money to purchase a new slasher unit. The old equipment Brower-Stromberg used had become dangerous. Art Maturi has been in the logging business for many years. He bought Maturi Timber from his father and uncle. The consultation visit identified mostly minor safety hazards that were easily corrected. A grant was awarded to Maturi for the purchase of a new CAT D5 with an enclosed cab. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry designed the Safety Abatement Grant program to assist employers to keep their workplaces safer and healthier. Funds are awarded to qualified employers for projects designed to reduce the risk of injury to their employees up to $10,000 per project. For more information on the safety grant program, please contact Ed LaFavor at (888) 234-1217.

Logger premium rebate program
The Targeted Industries Fund for Loggers (M.S. §176-130) was created in 1990 to combat high workers’ compensation rates, unsafe working conditions and high accident rates in logging and associated industries. Assessments are paid by wood mills that purchase or process more than 5,000 cords of wood annually. Some assessments provide for safety training of loggers given by Labor and Industry’s Workplace Safety Consultation unit. Loggers who show proof of attendence are entitiled to a premium rebate which is paid to more than 130 logging companies every year. During fiscal year 1996, each logging company received a 13-cent rebate for every dollar of payroll reported. The program has successfully decreased the incidence and expense of logging accidents. The program was scheduled to end in 1995, but will continue due to the support of the logging and mill industries.

What Workplace Safety Consultation has to offer
Working with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s OSHA unit may seem a bit frightening to some employers. Fear no longer. OSHA is divided into two independent units, Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) and Compliance. Both units work to help employers eliminate hazards that endanger employees and to help improve work quality and decrease expenses. OSHA Compliance ensures standards are followed. An enforcement visit is scheduled for the following reasons: 1. An employee reports an unsafe condition exists and requests a visit; 2. A work-related fatality has occurred; 3. Three or more employees have been injured in a single accident; 4. If the reported accident claims for a particular industry are higher than the national average. WSC is available to assist employers—at no cost—in implementing safety and health programs to reduce workplace injury and illness. and on a walk-in basis. In addition, the unit offers many specialized programs for employers.

WSC administers the education program for the loggers to ensure they all have the opportunity to obtain safety training. Assessments collected from wood mills Consultants that specialize in are redistributed to logger safety, health, general industry employers after their and construction can meet with employees complete this employers and conduct a walk- safety training. through audit in their facility. Other programs include Employers receive a MNSHARP, Labor Managecomprehensive written report on ment Safety and Health the consultant’s findings and Committees, Safety Abaterecommendations to eliminate ment Grant Program and identified hazards. The Workplace Violence Prevenconsultation staff also provides tion. For more information, technical assistance via phone call WSC at (612) 297-2393.

Department announces changes in senior staff
“I plan to continue our department’s strong focus of creating productive and safe workplaces in Minnesota,” said Maglich. Gail Blackstone has accepted the vacant assistant commissioner of workers’ compensation position left by Maglich. Blackstone joined the department in 1995 as assistant commissioner to the Workplace Services Division, which includes the state’s OSHA programs. Roslyn Wade replaced Blackstone as the new assistant

Commissioner Gretchen Maglich

Governor Arne Carlson appointed Gretchen Maglich commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry Dec. 15, 1997. Maglich has been the assistant commissioner of the Workers’ Compensation Division since 1995.

commissioner of Workplace Services. Wade has a 12-year history with the department, the past two as director of the Labor Standards unit. I’m looking forward to the challenge of working with OSHA,” said Wade. “Minnesota has a dedicated and knowledgeable OSHA staff. Both Compliance and Consultation have strong programs in place to help protect Minnesota’s workers. I will support their efforts and champion their mission.

Minnesota OSHA Office
St. Paul 443 Lafayette Road St Paul, MN 55155
800-657-3776 612-296-2116

Park Rapids logger Harris Walsh has been working so long, he has started to repeat himself. The 87-year-old was featured in Timber Harvesting’s “Wood Tick Trail” in September and also in his hometown paper, Park Rapids Enterprise, because he recently cut the same tract of timber he cut over a half a century ago. According to Walsh, things have changed drastically since first cutting the tract with a Swede saw in 1947. The 160 acre tract is located southwest of Park Rapids.

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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 612-297-4196/TTY.

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