Do you know what the most dangerous job in America is? Is it construction? Law enforcement? Commercial fishing? Flying a plane?
While all of these jobs have inherent dangers, the logging industry is the one with the highest number of deaths per 100,000 workers: 132.7. Compare that to the second most dangerous job, fishing, at 54.8 per 100,000 workers. The U.S. average for worker fatalities in 3.4 per 100,000.
Why do more people per 100,000 die logging every year than any other job?
- Loggers often work in densely forested areas on unpredictable land. Take the Pacific Northwest, for example, with its rugged, steep terrain. Simply being exposed to these conditions leads to higher risks of injury and death than operating logging machines.
- The tools they use. Logging machines, chainsaws and more can easily malfunction, causing injury. Workers may also lose control of their machinery, or not have the right amount of training to use it.
- Trees falling down. The taller the tree and thicker the trunk, the heavier it is likely to be. When trees come down, they are difficult to stop. Rolling and sliding of felled trees can easily lead to injury or death.
- Dangerous environmental conditions, such as rain, snow, lightning, winds, extreme cold, wildfires and a lack of proximity to health care facilities.
How Can the Industry Change to Make Things Safer for Loggers?
Pushing for more safety regulations and improving machinery are two potential tools to help protect loggers from injury and death. The industry, sadly, has a bad safety record. However, proper training and awareness as well as new safety inventions can greatly reduce work-related accidents and fatalities in the logging industry.
1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”