Oregon OSHA's

Health and Safety Resource

Print version

October 2016

The hazards of logging

No worksite is safe

The tree-studded hills of southwestern Oregon's Coos and Douglas counties aren't just panoramic places to absorb with all your senses.

For loggers, they're dangerous workplaces: wrong places at the wrong time, falling logs, swinging logs, holes to twist ankles, unforgiving machines, blazing heat, biting cold. The list goes on.

But the hazards of logging hardly have the upper hand in these forested hills known as Coos Bay Timberlands, a craggy, gorgeous, and sprawling commercial tree farm owned and operated by Weyerhaeuser Company.

On the contrary, this workplace thrums with safety.

If I care, they care.
I want to see everybody go home at night."

Brian Arriola, owner of LBA Contract Cutting

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Administrator's Message

Workers' Comp Premiums Illustrate Continued Success

Injury prevention supports a strong economy. It supports it by keeping productive workers on the job. It supports it by keeping wages flowing. And it supports it by keeping the costs of injuries under control.

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From the early days of European migration to America, in the 17th century, the prototype of buildings was based on English precedent, even if mostly translated into the locally available material in abundance: timber.”

Harry Seidler, Austrian-born Australian architect

Staying safe in the woods

10 rules to remember

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Did you know?


  • Personnel must not approach within two tree lengths of a tree being felled without receiving a signal from the person falling the tree that it is safe to approach.
  • An escape route must be determined and arranged before a tree is fallen so the workers falling the tree can move at least 25 feet away from and to the side of the base of the tree.
  • Life support ropes that are in service must be easily identifiable and have a minimum breaking strength of 5,400 pounds.
  • When a cutting tool is used in a tree, the climbing rope must be a high-quality steel safety chain of 3/16-inch size or larger or a wire core rope.

Safety Notes

Incident: Cut by glass
Industry: Glass product manufacturing
Victim: Glass handler

A glass handler was cut when a large sheet of glass broke as he was lifting it from a storage rack.

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Going the distance

Company: BSI EHS Services and Solutions, a strategic, management, and technical consultant

photo of Bill Kness

Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Principal consultant: Bill Kness, PE, CSP

Workforce: 325 employees for BSI EHS Services and Solutions (USA); 33 employees work out of BSI's Pacific Northwest region

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Ask Technical

When a temporary employee is working for a host employer and is injured on the job, who records the injury on the OSHA 300 log - the temporary employment agency or the host employer?

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Don't miss out

October 11-13, 2016
Southern Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference
Ashland Hills Hotel • Ashland

Upcoming education workshops

October 23, 2016 Award Nomination Deadline
Oregon Goveror's Occupational Safety & Health Conference

November 29-December 2, 2016
Western Pulp, Paper, & Forest Products Safety & Health Conference
Red Lion Hotel on the River • Portland

Get the details

Did you know?

There are no places on a logging operation that are absolutely safe. There are places "in the clear" where work takes place and where workers have the best chance of avoiding injury if the unexpected happens.

In the rush to start logging in a new unit, it is easy to forget to schedule a pre-work meeting with everyone on the logging crew. The importance of communication is too often underestimated. Don't start work without a pre-work safety meeting.

Tree stability is determined by its location and the presence of defects, insects, disease, work activities, and weather conditions. If a tree is unstable, it may fail either partially or totally. If a tree fails, it is a danger to anyone who may be struck by it.


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For general information, technical answers, or information about Oregon OSHA services, please call 503-378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, 800-922-2689.