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Journal Article


Bonauto DK, Wuellner SE, Marcum JL, Adams DA. J. Agromed. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Washington State Department of Labor Industrie , SHARP , Olympia , Washington , USA.


(Copyright © 2019, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)






OBJECTIVES: Current industry classification systems in the United States do not differentiate mechanized and non-mechanized logging operations. The objectives of this article are to quantify injury risk differences between mechanized and non-mechanized logging operations in Washington State and to evaluate for potential injury risk tradeoffs, such as decreasing traumatic injuries while increasing non-traumatic injuries that might occur when mechanized logging operations are substituted for non-mechanized logging operations.

METHODS: Using Washington State workers' compensation insurance risk classes to differentiate mechanized and non-mechanized logging operations, injury and illness claims data and employer reported hours were used to compare claim rates and to characterize injuries by type of logging operation.

RESULTS: From 2005-2014, the accepted Washington State worker's compensation claim rate for non-mechanized logging was 46.4 per 100 full-time equivalent employees compared to 6.7 per 100 FTE for mechanized logging activities. The rate ratio for comparing non-mechanized to mechanized logging claims rates for all accepted claims was 6.9 (95% Confidence Interval 6.4-7.5). Claim rates for traumatic injury and non-traumatic injuries in non-mechanized logging exceeded comparable rates in mechanized logging activities, although the distribution of types of injury differed by type of logging operation. A greater percentage of accepted claims in non-mechanized logging were traumatic injuries than in mechanized logging (92.2% vs. 85.0%, respectively). Additionally, non-mechanized logging had higher total claim and medical costs per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) and had a higher proportion of claims with lost work time than mechanized logging.

CONCLUSION: Mechanized logging offers a considerable safety advantage over non-mechanized logging operations. Continued efforts to increase the mechanization of logging operations will result in decreased injury rates.

Language: en


injury; logging; mechanization; safety; workers’ compensation


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