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Safety 2018, 4(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4040043

Human Factors Affecting Logging Injury Incidents in Idaho and the Potential for Real-Time Location-Sharing Technology to Improve Safety

1
Office of Grant and Project Development, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
2
Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
3
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract

Human factors, including inadequate situational awareness, can contribute to fatal and near-fatal traumatic injuries in logging, which is among the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Real-time location-sharing technology may help improve situational awareness for loggers. We surveyed and interviewed professional logging contractors in Idaho to (1) characterize current perceptions of in-woods hazards and the human factors that lead to injuries; (2) understand their perspectives on using technology-based location-sharing solutions to improve safety in remote work environments; and (3) identify logging hazard scenarios that could be mitigated using location-sharing technology. We found production pressure, fatigue, and inexperience among the most-common factors contributing to logging injuries from the perspective of participants. Potential limitations of location-sharing technology identified included potential for distraction and cost. Contractors identified several situations where the technology may help improve safety, including (1) alerting workers of potential hand-faller injuries due to lack of movement; (2) helping rigging crews to maintain safe distances from yarded trees and logs during cable logging; and (3) providing a means for equipment operators to see approaching ground workers, especially in low-visibility situations. View Full-Text
Keywords: cable logging; forestry workers; logging safety; Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Frequency (GNSS-RF); location-based services; internet of things; interviews; survey; mixed methods; situational awareness cable logging; forestry workers; logging safety; Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Frequency (GNSS-RF); location-based services; internet of things; interviews; survey; mixed methods; situational awareness
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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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Newman, S.M.; Keefe, R.F.; Brooks, R.H.; Ahonen, E.Q.; Wempe, A.M. Human Factors Affecting Logging Injury Incidents in Idaho and the Potential for Real-Time Location-Sharing Technology to Improve Safety. Safety 2018, 4, 43.

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