Six Tips for Protecting Forestry Workers from Injury

Logging is a dangerous business. As a business owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your employees safe. Here are six tips for ensuring a safe work environment for your employees.

1. Be certain employees are properly trained. One of the biggest dangers in working with logging equipment is improper use. Each machine has safety features as well as inherent risks. Take the time to properly train each employee on the proper use of your equipment before you allow him to operate. Don’t assume that an employee understands correct operating procedure of a machine because he worked for another logging company. Each brand of machine has different requirements and features, and each employer explains and enforces safety requirements differently.

2. Keep equipment well maintained. Shear heads and saw discs must be periodically replaced to ensure cutting efficiency, and to ensure blades are safe to use. When replacing a saw disc or shear head, be certain to use the proper brand of replacement, since not all devices work with all heads. Set up an inspection schedule for your company to follow to ensure that equipment is regularly inspected.

3. Use the best equipment. Equipment is likely your biggest investment in your business. It can be tempting to try to save money by purchasing cheap or used equipment, but it can be risky in the long run. Sometimes buying used equipment can be a good way to save money, but be sure it is a reliable brand and that all shear heads and other pieces of cutting equipment have been well maintained. Inspect the equipment before putting it into service and replace parts as needed.

4. Provide regular breaks for employees. Employees who are tired from working long hours are more likely to make mistakes. No matter how busy your workload, ensure that employees take the breaks they need to allow them to stay properly focused on the job.

5. Ensure your management is focused on safety. Foremen who are focused on production may not adhere to your safety standards consistently. Be certain that crew leaders share your vision of a safe workplace.

6. Pay workers a fair wage. By paying a little more, you can hire more experienced and mature workers. These workers are much less likely to make mistakes or ignore proper safety practices. In the long run, you’ll save money by employing people who work safely.

Logging can be a great way to make money, but only if it can be done safely. Follow these tips to ensure your business is both safe and profitable.

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