Dangerous work requires extensive safety training, OSHA warns

Feb 24 2016

Although antiquated, the term “lumberjack” still conjures a powerful image in the minds of most Americans. The difficult and exhausting work lumberjacks undertook helped settle the West and build our nation’s infrastructure.

Unfortunately, this line of work was among the deadliest jobs in America, and that remains true today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the forestry industry recorded 77 deaths in 2014 – a number far higher than most other occupations. The tools and practices may have changed, but moving around items of such size and weight is still incredibly dangerous.

In August 2015, a 20-year-old logger in Illinois was killed after just two months on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently concluded its investigation into the fatal accident and determined that the company had failed to adequately train its workers on logging hazards and had failed to remove a damaged tree that ultimately fell over and struck the young worker. The proposed penalties total nearly $20,000.

Whenever employees are hired to do inherently dangerous work, they must be given the proper equipment, training, emergency response training and supervision to ensure that the work is as safe as it can reasonably be. In addition to inadequate hazard-prevention training, the company apparently also failed to train their workers in the administration of CPR and first aid.

Logging industry workers here in Colorado face the same hazards mentioned above. Without proper training and oversight, these types of fatal accidents are all too common.

If you have been seriously injured in a workplace accident, remember that you may be entitled to receive workers compensation benefits. To better understand your rights and options, please contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.