By many measures, logging is the most dangerous occupation in the United States. The tools and equipment such as chain saws and logging machines pose hazards wherever they are used. As loggers use their tools and equipment, they deal with massive weights and irresistible momentum of falling, rolling, and sliding trees and logs. The hazards are more acute when dangerous environmental conditions are factored in, such as uneven, unstable or rough terrain; inclement weather including rain, snow, lightning, winds, and extreme cold and/or remote and isolated work sites where health care facilities are not immediately accessible.
The combination of these hazards present a significant risk to employees working in logging operations throughout the country, regardless of the type of timber being logged, where it is logged, or the end use of the wood.
Exposures to hazards in logging are addressed in specific standards for the general industry.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.
- NEW Crushed by Carriage during Skyline-Skidding Operation. OSHA Fatal Fact No. 14, (2016). Describes how one worker died while working as a chokersetter, when the skyline lost tension and caused the carriage to fall.
- Potential Hazards of Mislabeled Steel Toe Logger Boots. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin, (2004, September 30). Alerts employers and employees of the potential electrical hazards of Georgia Boot's mislabeled steel toe logger boots; to provide Georgia Boot customers with the manufacturer's recall instructions for the subject boots; and to remind users of OSHA's requirements for electrical protective equipment as covered by 29 CFR 1910.137.
- Logging. OSHA eTool. Provides expert assistance for businesses and workers seeking to comply with OSHA's logging standard. Logging procedures are examined, OSHA regulations explained, and links are provided to the specific sections of the standard.