Logging - the most dangerous job in the U.S.

This piece comes out of a North American news site, The Penny Hoarder. The article looks at the very real issue of logging fatalities and safety in the U.S. and what’s being done to address the issue.

While many of us believe we are giving too much of ourselves — our time, mental exertion and personal freedoms — to our jobs, we likely have it better than workers in riskier career fields. In fact, there are several careers that put their workers’ lives in danger every day just by the nature of the job: police officers, fishermen and pilots, to name a few.

But what is the job with the single highest fatality rate? Logging, by a mile. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67 loggers in the U.S. died on the job in 2015. While more truck drivers (885) and farmers (252) died that year while on duty, loggers had the highest number of deaths per 100,000 workers: 132.7. That is more than double the second highest, fishermen, at 54.8 per 100,000 workers. The American average, for reference, is 3.4 per 100,000, making logging 39 times more dangerous than the average job in the U.S.

So, what is it that loggers do on a daily basis, and why does it make them so prone to on-the-job fatalities? And more importantly, what safety regulations are in place to protect them, and is it enough? The writer of this article turned to Jeff Wimer at Oregon State University (OSU) to find out. More >>

Jeff Wimer currently works as an instructor at OSU and manages the student logging training program. He has worked as vice president for Wimer Logging Company, served as president of the Oregon Logging Conference and is the incoming president of the Pacific Logging Congress. His career in logging safety spans 20 years and includes investigations into more than 25 logging fatalities and three books on logging safety.

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