“Safety” in Oregon forests, as addressed here, involves safe workplaces
and worker safety. Scroll-down below to find a variety of links to agencies and
organizations that support the safe, healthy and fair field work operations for
forest workers all across Oregon. These are great sources of forest work safety
& health information.
AOL/SAIF Work. Comp. Program
Oregon Dept. of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin.
Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries
Oregon Office of Emergency Mgmt.
OR Dept. of Geology & Mineral Ind.
US Mine Safety & Health Admin.
WorkSafe British Columbia
National Timber Safety Found.
The Oregon-Occupational Safety & Health Division’s mission is to advance and improve
workplace safety & health for Oregon workers. OR-OSHA is part of Oregon Dept. of
Consumer & Business Services, and it operates under a state-plan agreement with
Modern logging equipment can now process an entire tree into log lengths in just
a few quick motions, thereby improving safety, saving time, enhancing quality, and
reducing impacts on the environment. Many forest jobs are within the comfort & safety
of an enclosed cab operating a machine that processes trees or handles forest materials.
Today’s machines are purpose-built to be safer, more efficient and have lower site
impacts. Computer systems and electronic controls in today’s mechanized forest machinery,
produce optimized performance, use less energy, keep a clean environment and recover
more wood. Much of this innovation results from skilled loggers using safe practices;
they are skilled trade-workers who operate up-to-date equipment on-the-ground to
continually improve methods.
In 1971, the federal ‘Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)’ became part of national
labor law. Two years later, Oregon passed its own occupational safety & health legislation,
the Oregon Safe Employment Act (OSEA). OSEA authorized Oregon-OSHA to enforce the
state’s workplace safety & health rules. Forest operations in Oregon are subject
to the state’s unique Oregon-OSHA work safety rules, rather than the federal safety
rules that govern forestry in nearly every other state (except Washington).
The state of Oregon, under an agreement with federal OSHA, operates a ‘State Plan’
for occupational safety in accordance with the federal OSHA law. OR-OSHA has worker
safety jurisdiction over most private sector employers in the state, and non-federal
public sector employers. The only occupations for which federal OSHA retains jurisdiction
over employers in Oregon, include: maritime employers, shipyards, marine construction,
marine terminals, longshoring, and diving; private contractors on military bases
and Crater Lake National Park; US Postal Service; civilian employees of federal
facilities, and Indian reservations.
OR-OSHA Cable Yarding & Loading Handbook
Oregon-OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act) agency published a logging handbook, which is intended to reinforce worker safety practices during cable yarding. The Oregon-OSHA Cable Yarding and Loading Handbook focuses on skyline yarding on steep slopes. Even though the book is aimed at the use of skylines with a conventional yarder tower on steep slopes, the information is applicable to other methods.
The handbook covers the following areas: planning for the unit; setting up the landing; machine & equipment inspection; anchors; setting up the yarder; changing cable roads; rigging the yarding lines; tree climbing; yarding the logs; landing operations, landing the turn; loading the logs on log trucks; worker safety rules; signs & signals; and a yarding & loading glossary. The handbook is free-for-download from:
OR-OSHA Forest Activity Rules for workers and employers
Forest operations in Oregon are subject to the work safety rules—known as OR-OSHA
Standards (ORS437, Division 7, “Forest Activities Rule,” and also the ORS437, Divisions
1 & 2, “General Administrative Rules” and “General Occupational Safety & Health
These three forest worker & workplace safety regulations can be found online at:
- Forest Activities Rule www.orosha.org/standards/div_7.html
- Forest Activities Rule describes in detail the safety & health regulations for the
following subdivisions: general requirements & definitions; safety & health program;
planning-first aid-work conditions; PPE programs; tools-fire extinguishers-explosives;
roads-flagging-vehicles-flammables; cable rigging & rigging practices; machines
used; cutting trees-pre-commercial thinning-slashing; yarding-processing-signaling-communications;
loading-transportation of logs/fiber; log dumps-ponds-yards; aircraft used; wildland
fire suppression & prescribed fire; signaling systems; and tree climbing.
- General Occupational Safety & Health Rules
- General Administrative Rules
OR-OSHA staff provides safety & health consulting, compliance inspection, and enforcement
- Enforcement of OR-OSHA Standards (Divisions 7 and) by compliance officers who inspect,
provide conferences & assistance, appeals & informal conferences, and investigate
workplace fatalities and serious injuries.
- Consultative services by field consultants aiding with workplace safety, industrial
hygiene, and ergonomics
- Training, with free year-round classes and online training for employers & employees
- Standards and technical resources
- Resource Center Library: publications, DVDs, materials
- Training, conferences, scholarships, and training grants
- Occupational Health Laboratory
SAIF Corporation www.saif.com
SAIF Corporation is Oregon’s not-for-profit, state-chartered workers’ compensation
insurance company. A recognized market leader, SAIF issues almost half of the workers’
comp. policies in Oregon, providing coverage to more than 600,000 workers. The SAIF
Industrial Accident Fund was created by the Oregon Legislature to make workers’
comp. insurance affordable and available to industries and employers statewide.
Oregon’s economy is strengthened by effective workers’ compensation insurance programs
and safe workplaces. SAIF’s unique charter and leadership drive its dedication to
the people, the businesses, and the entire state of Oregon.
Associated Oregon Loggers / SAIF Workers Comp Program
Associated Oregon Loggers (AOL) provides safety services to logging and forestry
customers insured in the SAIF Corporation workers’ compensation insurance program.
AOL’s unique, long-term relationship with SAIF Corporation provides association
members with specialized services to employers and their workers in jobsite safety&
health, loss control, and return-to-work.
Oregon Department of Transportation
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) works to provide a safe, efficient
transportation system that supports economic opportunity and livable communities
for Oregonians. ODOT programs encompass Oregon’s system of highways, roads, and
bridges; railways; public transportation services; transportation safety programs;
driver & vehicle licensing; and truck freight (motor carrier) regulation.
Oregon-Motor Carrier Transportation Division
The ODOT-Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCT) is the truck freight branch
of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT). The mission of the MCT Division is
to promote a safe, efficient, and responsible commercial truck transportation industry.
When appropriate, MCT strives to simplify compliance, reduce regulations, foster
partnerships & communication, and deliver superior customer service that recognizes
economic interests of the commercial trucking industry. Services include: motor
carrier registration; ports of entry offices; truck safety; size & weight enforcement;
over-dimensional permits; load securement; weight-mile tax reports; and truck recordkeeping.
Oregon-Transportation Safety Division
The ODOT-Transportation Safety Division of ODOT provides information, direct services,
and grants to deliver transportation safety programs to Oregonians. One popular
information service that daily improves commercial freight and public highway safety
is the online information website: www.tripcheck.com/ The site includes local road
conditions, weather, cameras, construction zones, travel center, and truck center.
The ODOT-Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV), is the licensing branch
of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT). Its mission is to promote driver safety,
protect financial and ownership interests in vehicles, provide driver licenses,
commercial driver licenses (CDL), identification cards for Oregon residents, and
to collect revenue for Oregon’s roads.
Oregon-Rail Division www.oregon.gov/ODOT/RAIL/
The ODOT-Rail Division of ODOT is responsible for freight and passenger rail planning
and operation safety, as well as representing rail freight customers to ensure safe
and reliable rail service.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration www.fmcsa.dot.gov
The primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is
to improve safe and efficient operation of commercial trucks and buses involved
in the interstate transportation of freight and people. FMCSA was established as
a division of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) on January 1, 2000. FMCSA
is headquartered in Washington, DC and employs more than 1,000 people in all 50
States and District of Columbia. FMCSA works to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities
through its dedication to improving the safety of commercial motor vehicles and
FMCSA programs encompass interstate trucking commerce for transportation of freight
delivered across state lines, including key USDOT programs in: federal motor carrier
safety regulation; performance & registration; hazardous materials regulation; safety
education & information; border & international safety; commercial driver’s license;
and research & analysis.
Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries www.oregon.gov/BOLI
The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) state agency assures fair employment
and access conditions that contribute to making work safe. BOLI’s mission in Oregon
is to protect employment rights, advance employment opportunities, and protect discrimination-free
access to housing and public accommodations. Related to forest operations, BOLI:
a) encourages, educates, and enforces compliance with state laws relating to wages,
hours, and terms & conditions of employment; b) enforces anti-discrimination & civil
rights laws; and c) promotes a skilled workforce through apprenticeships and partnerships,
currently in other non-forest trades.
Oregon Office of Emergency Management www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is a division of the Oregon Military
Department. OEM’s purpose is to execute the Governor’s responsibilities to maintain
an effective statewide emergency services system. OEM helps to prevent, mitigate
and manage disasters that threaten lives & property. The agency coordinates emergency
services planning, preparedness, response, and recovery activities with agencies
and other organizations from state, local, other states, private, non-profits, and
federal partners. Such disasters—many which could occur in Oregon forests—might
be storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, wildfires, utility & highway
disruptions, hazardous material releases, or homeland security problems.
The Oregon Occupational Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) Program is a sponsored program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Oregon FACE is located in Portland at Oregon Health & Science University. The program is designed to help in the prevention of occupational fatalities through surveillance, targeted investigation, assessment, and outreach associated with traumatic work-related deaths in Oregon. Oregon FACE does work in forestry and logging occupations.
Oregon Dept. of Geology & Mineral Industries www.oregongeology.org
The Oregon Department of Geology & Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) is the state agency
that regulates mining and energy exploration, as well as providing information to
understand & safely prepare for natural hazards that accompany the state’s geology—such
as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and coastal erosion. DOGAMI services include:
regulation of surface aggregate mining, sub-surface mining, oil-gas-geothermal exploration;
mapping natural hazards; and public safety education and planning (in cooperation
with Oregon Emergency Management) for earthquake, tsunami and landslide hazards.
US Mine Safety & Health Administration www.msha.gov/
The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) is a division of the US Department
of Labor. MSHA’s purpose is to improve safe and efficient operation of commercial
mining, plus to promote safe & healthy workplaces for miners. MSHA implements the
Federal Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977, through regulation and inspection of underground
mines, and surface mines (and quarries), to determine compliance with safety & health
standards. Surface mines/quarries of sufficient size and commercial scope on forestland
may be subject to MSHA regulation, as well as Oregon-OSHA safety rules.
US Occupational Safety & Health Administration www.osha.gov
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the US Department
of Labor. OSHA was created by the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, to assure
safe & healthy working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards
and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Forest operations
in Oregon are subject to the state’s unique Oregon-OSHA work safety rules, rather
than the federal OSHA safety rules that govern forestry in nearly every other state
(except Washington). The Oregon-OSHA state program meets or exceeds the federal
OSHA standards for forest workplace safety & health. Oregon-OSHA (see above) or
online at: www.orosha.org
Other Sources — Outside Oregon — of Forest Safety Information
The following sources of forest safety & health information are from areas where
different state & federal regulations apply to worker safety—nonetheless, additional
valuable safety messages, content, and materials may be useful to Oregon forestry
Work Safe British Columbia www.worksafebc.com
WorkSafeBC is the provincial safety agency for British Columbia, Canada. WorkSafeBC
produces a host of excellent safety materials for its large forest products industry,
which could be useful to Oregon forestry employers—most of which are available online
or ordered from the website. This variety of health & safety publications includes:
bulletins, newsletters, books, posters, slideshows, photos, Ebooks, videotapes,
and other multimedia materials.
Washington Division of Occupational Safety & Health www.lni.wa.gov/safety
Washington’s Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) is as state agency
under the Washington Dept. of Labor & Industries (LnI). DOSH administers the WA
Industrial Safety & Health Act (WISHA) law. LnI produces a host of excellent safety
materials for its large forest products industry, which could be useful to Oregon
forestry employers—many which are available online. The logging-specific topic page
National Timber Harvesting & Transportation Safety Foundation
The National Timber Harvesting & Transportation Safety Foundation (THATS) is a charitable
non-profit organization administered by the Forest Resources Association, based
in Rockville, MD. THAT’S mission is to promote safe work in timber harvesting &
transportation. It produces a host of excellent safety materials for the forest
products industry, largely focused on the Eastern US where federal OSHA standards
apply in the forest. THATS safety materials could be useful to Oregon forestry employers—most
of which are available online or ordered from the website.