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Forests 2017, 8(11), 440; doi:10.3390/f8110440

Occupational Safety and Health Concerns in Logging: A Cross-Sectional Assessment in Virginia

1
Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2
School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA
3
Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
4
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
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Abstract

Increased logging mechanization has helped improve logging safety and health, yet related safety risks and concerns are not well understood. A cross-sectional study was completed among Virginia loggers. Participants (n = 122) completed a self-administered questionnaire focusing on aspects of safety and health related to logging equipment. Respondents were at a high risk of workplace injuries, with reported career and 12-month injury prevalences of 51% and 14%, respectively. Further, nearly all (98%) respondents reported experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms. Over half (57.4%) of respondents reported symptoms related to diesel exhaust exposure in their career. Few (15.6%), however, perceived their jobs to be dangerous. Based on the opinions and suggestions of respondents, three priority areas were identified for interventions: struck-by/against hazards, situational awareness (SA) during logging operations, and visibility hazards. To address these hazards, and to have a broader and more substantial positive impact on safety and health, we discuss the need for proactive approaches such as incorporating proximity technologies in a logging machine or personal equipment, and enhancing logging machine design to enhance safety, ergonomics, and SA. View Full-Text
Keywords: workplace injuries; musculoskeletal disorders; diesel exhaust exposure; mechanized logging; situational awareness workplace injuries; musculoskeletal disorders; diesel exhaust exposure; mechanized logging; situational awareness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, S.; Nussbaum, M.A.; Schoenfisch, A.L.; Barrett, S.M.; Bolding, M.C.; Dickerson, D.E. Occupational Safety and Health Concerns in Logging: A Cross-Sectional Assessment in Virginia. Forests 2017, 8, 440.

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