Tips to Keep You Safe at the Logging Job Site

Posted: 2021-02-02

Working in the timber industry isn’t for everybody. It’s a job that demands physical strength, endurance, and willingness to work despite the safety risks. If you want to work at a logging job site, you should be prepared physically and mentally.

Logging is an essential part of the U.S. economy, and everyone benefits from the products that come from wood. However, it is also listed as one of the most dangerous occupations in America. In fact, over the past several years, it has received the top spot. According to statistics, approximately 100 out of 100,000 workers get injured per year, and there are years when the numbers even go beyond.

To ensure your safety while working at a logging job site, consider these tips.

Chainsaw Operators

Without a doubt, a chainsaw has the potential to inflict harm on anyone, including the operator. It has razor-sharp metal teeth that are moving at ultra-fast speeds, and oftentimes, the tool is just a few inches away from the operator.

Therefore, operating a chainsaw requires both skill and self-awareness. When using a chainsaw, the operator is exposed to different kinds of risks, that’s why using it safely is a must.

One of the things you need to ensure is to wear clothing that will protect your whole body, including the head, eyes, ears, legs, feet, etc. Use a helmet specially designed for chainsaw operators. Pick one that comes with an attached flip-up, mesh face shield, and flip-up ear muffs.

Before starting any cutting, check the environmental safety of your specific job site. Identify if there is a place where you can escape as the tree falls. Also, determine the possibilities in case the tree falls in a direction you did not intend it to fall. Take note of power lines and other posts that could pose dangers as you cut down trees.

Heavy Equipment Operators

Operating heavy equipment like a bulldozer or a backhoe also presents a fair amount of risks. To protect yourself from possible injuries, wear protective gear, such as goggles, dust masks, gumboots, and hard hats.

Heavy equipment often piques the interest of onlookers, which you have to deal with before starting an operation. Clear the onlookers around the job site and if needed, use a horn to warn them about a possible danger.

Obviously, you are supposed to operate heavy equipment which you are trained to operate.  Failure to do this will put yourself and others at risk of injury or even fatality. If you need to operate a piece of heavy equipment, be sure to enroll in a course to get both the skill and certification to handle such a piece of machinery.

Another aspect of operational safety is communication, which is essential to avoid any possible injuries. A two-way radio is an effective device to use when you have limited vision while operating the machine. Also, tell other people on the site to take caution before starting an operation.

Equipment Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure your safety while working at a logging job site is to have your equipment regularly maintained. This will allow your hardware to work with ease and avoid issues such as overheating and premature failure.

There are several factors to consider in maintaining heavy equipment and logging tools. So, it’s best to check the mechanical components, electronics, and electrical wires and secure their integrity.

It also helps to avoid going beyond the system’s manufacturer-approved specifications. Even heavy equipment has limitations such as maximum load capacity. Therefore, refer to your operator’s manual to study the limits of your specific unit.

Observance of Safety Rules and Regulations

In addition to the required skills in operating logging equipment, you should also adhere to the safety programs implemented by your company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Not doing so can put yourself and other employees at risk.

With this in mind, be sure to attend training and obtain all the relevant facts about your specific equipment and how to properly operate it. Also, participate in emergency shut-off procedures, accident reporting, and first aid treatment.

Take these tips into consideration; they just might save your life.