Washington Logging Safety Initiatives

Logging is a hazardous occupation, with a very high rate of injury and fatalities. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries in recent years has developed safety initiatives in response to the risks of logging and high worker’s compensation premiums.

Employers engaging in manual logging can reduce their workers’ compensation insurance rates by twenty percent if the employer meets certain requirements under the Logger Safety Initiative.

L&I also published what it boasts is a “first of its kind safety and operating guide” for tethered logging practices, entitled the “Best Management and Operating Practices for Steep Slope Machine Logging.” [1]

While logging will always be dangerous, the CDC concludes that “many workers and employers in the logging industry are unaware of the risks associated with logging and are not following the procedures in the OSHA standards for preventing injuries and fatalities among loggers.” [2]

While often injured loggers are prohibited from seeking compensation from their employer under worker’s comp law, that is not always the case. There are exceptions to employee immunity. Also, third parties such as equipment manufactures are not immune from civil liability under worker’s comp law.

If you have been injured on the job in logging, construction, or other hazardous jobs contact an attorney to learn about your rights.

[1] https://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/98_02_2019_best%20management%20and%20operating%20practices%20for%20steep%20slope%20machine%20logging_revised%202019.pdf

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/95-101/default.html

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