Region 5 News Release: V-85
Jan. 26, 2000
Contact: Mary Bauer / Bryan Troost
OSHA EXPANDS EDUCATIONAL AND ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE TO PROTECT LOGGING WORKERS IN WESTERN WISCONSIN
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has expanded an educational and enforcement program to reduce fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in western Wisconsin's logging industry.
Workers in the logging industry are exposed to safety and health hazards which often lead to serious physical harm and death. According to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 1997, the logging industry has the second highest rates of fatalities and crippling accidents.
"This program is an effort to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities by 15% in Wisconsin's logging industry by the year 2002," said Charles Burin, OSHA area director in Eau Claire.
The goal of the special educational and enforcement program, WISLOG, is to contact all logging employers in Wisconsin. Employers will be encouraged to provide workers and their representatives the opportunity to participate in all phases of the safety and health program.
To encourage voluntary protection measures by employers, OSHA will conduct an educational outreach program for 60 days before proceeding with enforcement. OSHA has mailed information on safety and health programs, safe logging practices, and available resources to employers. Employers will be assisted by OSHA in establishing strong and effective safety and health programs. OSHA's Logging Advisor is also available on the Internet at www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/mainpage.html
Employers have been notified that they may be inspected under the WISLOG program. The inspections will focus on critical areas such as felling techniques, safe working distances, personal protective equipment, chain saw safety and other areas. OSHA will begin inspections in late March.
OSHA launched a similar program in July 1999 in northeastern Wisconsin's logging industry.
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