OSHA has expanded an educational and enforcement program to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses in western Wisconsin's logging industry.
Worker in the logging industry are exposed to safety and health hazards that often lead to serious physical harm and death.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 1997, the logging industry has the second highest rates of fatalities and crippling accidents.
"This program is an effort to reduce injuries, illnesses ad fatalities by 15 percent in Wisconsin's logging industry by 2002," said Charles Burin, OSHA area director in Eau Claire, Wis.
The goal of the special educational and enforcement program, WISLOG, is to contact all logging employers in Wisconsin and encourage them to provide workers and their representatives the opportunity to participate in all phases of the program.
To encourage voluntary protection measures by employers, OSHA plans to conduct an educational outreach program for 60 days before proceeding with enforcement.
Information on safety and health programs, safe logging practices and available resources has been mailed to employers.
Under the WISLOG program, employers may be inspected. The inspections will focus on critical areas such as felling techniques, safe working distances, personal protective equipment and chain saw safety.
Inspections are set to begin in late March.
OSHA's Logging Advisor is available at www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/logging_ advisor/mainpage.html