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Reality shows tell only part of the story about logging dangers

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

According to Forest Science, the logging business in Georgia is necessary not only to the forest products industry but to responsible woodland management. Recent reality programming focusing on the logging industry, such as “American Loggers” or “Ax Men,” has not only captured the public’s attention but given people outside the industry an idea of the unique hazards that workers face.

However, those programs only tell a part of the story. They provide anecdotal information, but they do not show how many workers in the logging industry lose their lives or suffer injuries that cause them to lose time from work to recover.

Incidence of logging accidents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia sees a moderate number of fatalities among logging workers. From 2006 to 2015, 1.53% of injuries from logging accidents statewide proved fatal.

However, the greatest number of fatal logging accidents occurs in the South compared to other regions of the country. This is true regardless of the season. Though Georgia was not among them, three of the seven states that ranked the highest for logging fatalities during the same time frame were in the South: Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

Types of fatal logging accidents

Contact with objects and equipment is the most common type of fatal logging injury by a wide margin. It accounts for 79% of all logging deaths compared to the next most common type, transportation accidents, which accounted for only 15% of all fatalities. The type of contact with objects or equipment most likely to prove fatal was a blow from a falling object or piece of equipment at 65%. Impact from a falling object also accounted for 14% of all nonfatal injuries requiring time away from work for recovery and resulting from contact with objects or equipment.