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In 1870, there were 173 sawmills in Oregon and throughout much of the 20th century, sawmills were a defining symbol of the state. Oregon has fewer sawmills today; technological improvements have made those remaining more efficient and many mills have retooled to concentrate on getting more value from second- and third-generation timber. As a result, there are fewer work-related injuries in the mills – and the majority of those are sprains and strains caused by overexertion.
Oregon OSHA’s safety requirements for sawmills cover log and lumber handling, sawing, trimming, and planing; waste disposal; dry kilns; finishing; shipping; storage; yard equipment; and the power tools used for the work.
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