Recently, an injured worker had to be airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee after suffering a serious workplace accident. According to the WataugaDemocrat, the worker was 58-years-old and doing work at a local school. He was standing at ground level when a tree limb fell onto him in a tragic logging accident. His injuries were serious and his prognosis is not yet known.
Our Johnson City, TN work accident attorneys know logging is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. This man’s tragic accident is one of thousands that occur each year, and it is important that everyone in the industry is aware of the risks and take safety steps to avoid a deadly accident. Landscaping accidents and accidents involving tree trimmers are also a common danger through the summer months.
Tennessee Work Injury Risks
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 95,000 loggers employed in the U.S. in 2010. Among these workers, 75 were killed while performing their jobs. The high number of fatalities resulted in a rate of 73.7 deaths of loggers for every 100,000 workers in the field.
While 73.7 deaths out of 100,000 workers may not seem to be a lot of fatalities, the fact is that it is cause for major concern. The rate of deaths in the logging field is more than 21 times greater than the overall fatality rate of 3.4 deaths for every 100,000 workers throughout the United States. The high rate of deaths was referred to by the CDC as an “excessive risk” and the CDC recommended that both research and intervention programs should be a priority to ensure the safety of loggers.
There are, of course, some inherent risks in the logging industry including the dangers associated with using powerful tools and the risks of falling or being crushed by falling branches. However, these dangers can be minimized if employers follow OSHA standards carefully. OSHA standards address issues including:
- Providing job training and first aid training for workers.
- Providing personal protective equipment including protections for the hands, legs, head, eyes and face.
- Using roll-over and fall-object protective structures when necessary.
- Instructing workers in maintenance, inspection, repair and replacement of all equipment including personal protective equipment.
- Checking the area carefully before logging begins, including checking for broken limbs or loose bark on trees that are to be removed.
- Assigning work areas so that no tree is able to fall into adjacent occupied areas. The distance between occupied work areas needs to be at least two-tree lengths, based on the size of the trees that are being felled.
- Instructing workers to evaluate each situation for wind, snow or ice.
- Providing first-aid kits at all worksites where trees are being felled as well as in each worker transport vehicle.
- Training workers in proper techniques for felling trees including identifying and controlling hazards.
If employers follow all OSHA rules including providing required equipment and training, hopefully more tragic logging accidents can be avoided and the number of injuries and fatalities in this dangerous profession could be reduced.
If you are in a work accident in Johnson City, Tennessee, contact Meade Injury Law Group today at (423) 464-7779for a free consultation.