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Forests 2017, 8(10), 357;

Characterizing Rigging Crew Proximity to Hazards on Cable Logging Operations Using GNSS-RF: Effect of GNSS Positioning Error on Worker Safety Status

Forest Operations Research Lab, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Drive, Moscow, ID 83844-1133, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
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Logging continues to rank among the most lethal occupations in the United States. Though the hazards associated with fatalities are well-documented and safe distances from hazards is a common theme in safety education, positional relationships between workers and hazards have not been quantified previously. Using GNSS-RF (Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Frequency) transponders that allow real-time monitoring of personnel, we collected positioning data for rigging crew workers and three common cable logging hazards: a log loader, skyline carriage, and snag. We summarized distances between all ground workers and each hazard on three active operations and estimated the proportion of time crew occupied higher-risk areas, as represented by geofences. We then assessed the extent to which positioning error associated with different stand conditions affected perceived worker safety status by applying error sampled in a separate, controlled field experiment to the operational data. Root mean squared error was estimated at 11.08 m in mature stands and 3.37 m in clearcuts. Simulated error expected for mature stands altered safety status in six of nine treatment combinations, whereas error expected for clearcuts affected only one. Our results show that canopy-associated GNSS error affects real-time geofence safety applications when using single-constellation American Global Positioning System transponders. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNSS-RF; GPS; GNSS positioning error; logging safety; geofences GNSS-RF; GPS; GNSS positioning error; logging safety; geofences

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Wempe, A.M.; Keefe, R.F. Characterizing Rigging Crew Proximity to Hazards on Cable Logging Operations Using GNSS-RF: Effect of GNSS Positioning Error on Worker Safety Status. Forests 2017, 8, 357.

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