Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.
2015 Madrona Avenue, Salem, OR
Logging Safety Programs

Contents

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Oregon Safety Laws
Related Federal Laws Oregon Safety Laws
AOL/SAIF Partnership Oregon Safety Laws
Oregon-OSHA Oregon Safety Laws
SAIF Corp. Oregon Safety Laws
Employer Safety Programs Oregon Safety Laws
Oregon Pro-Logger Program Oregon Safety Laws
Forest Landowner Safety

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Safety & health programs for Oregon loggers and other forest operators are implemented and available through a host of private organizations and government agencies. These organizations work in cooperation with logging contractors to promote safe practices, plans and operations that improve safety performance on-the job. Continually improving safety performance is the outcome of keeping safety & health programs a top priority for Oregon loggers and other forest operators. Programs help loggers address a wide range of on-the-job safety issues with the goal of providing workable solutions to manage safe and productive work practices. Oregon’s forest sector has a decades-long history of continuous improvement in logging safety, fostered by the following primary sources:

Primary Sources/Programs

  1. Oregon Safety Laws – effective worker safety agencies, OR-OSHA, SAIF, BOLI; ODOT; DOGAMI
  2. Related Federal Laws – US-DOT; US-MSHA
  3. Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division (OR-OSHA) – practical safety programs
  4. State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF Corp.) – effective WC programs
  5. Associated Oregon Loggers/SAIF Partnership (AOL) – current Safety & WC programs
  6. Employer/Logging Business Safety Programs – self-determined forestry employer safety programs to assure safe practices, performance, and business reputation
  7. Oregon Professional Logger Program (OPL) – continuing education, including safety
  8. Forest Landowner Safety Programs – purchaser contract-specified safety requirements

Oregon Safety Laws

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Oregon forest operations are subject to numerous State laws and regulations, which assure a baseline of worker and workplace safety & health. The primary state government agencies that administer applicable safety-related laws affecting Oregon forestry operations include the following:

Oregon-OSHA www.orosha.org

The Oregon-Occupational Safety & Health Division (OR-OSHA) administers the 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 Rules”).

SAIF Corporation www.saif.com

SAIF Corporation (State Accident Industrial Fund) is Oregon’s not-for-profit, state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance company. By law, Oregon employers must carry workers' compensation insurance ("workers' comp") or be self-insured. Workers' comp insurance protects workers by paying for medical treatment and lost wages, resulting from work-related injuries or illnesses. A recognized market leader, SAIF issues almost half of the workers’ comp policies in Oregon, providing coverage to more than 600,000 workers. The AOL/SAIF partnership provides excellent workers comp insurance and loss control services for forest contractors.

Oregon Dept. of Transportation www.oregon.gov/ODOT

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 numerous laws and regulations governing forest operation transportation. ODOT administers Oregon’s system of highways, roads, and bridges; railways; public transportation services; transportation safety programs; driver & vehicle licensing; and commercial truck freight (motor carrier) regulation.

Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries www.oregon.gov/BOLI

The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) state agency administers law and rules that assure 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.

Oregon Dept. of Geology & Mineral Industries www.oregongeology.org

The Oregon Dept. 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 related to forestry include: regulation of surface aggregate mining; mapping natural hazards; and public safety education & planning (with Oregon Emergency Management).

Related Federal Laws

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Oregon forest operations are subject to federal laws and regulations, which assure a baseline of worker and workplace safety & health. The primary US government agencies that administer applicable safety-related laws affecting Oregon forestry operations include the following:

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 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.

US Mine Safety & Health Administration www.msha.gov

The federal Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) purpose is to improve safe operation of commercial mining, plus to promote safe & healthy workplaces for miners. MSHA regulates and inspects underground mines and surface mines (rock quarries), to determine compliance with safety 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.

Associated Oregon Loggers/SAIF Partnership Program (AOL)

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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.

Since 1969, member companies of AOL have also participated in additional programs, and regularly received safety & health information from AOL that serves to foster worker and workplace safety in Oregon forest contract operations. Those contract operations include timber falling, logging, log processing, log & fiber trucking, road construction & maintenance, heavy equipment repair, slash/site preparation, erosion control, reforestation, fuels treatment & burning, firefighting, young stand forestry, stand release/spraying, and so forth. Consulting Services in Safety, Health, and Labor

Consulting Services in Safety, Health, and Labor

  • Ten AOL staff work statewide to provide safety, health, labor, and insurance consultation services to AOL members
  • Training director(1); loss control specialists(5); return to work specialists(2); insurance manager & administrative(2)
  • Technical assistance to members on OR-OSHA worker safety & health Code compliance
  • Technical assistance to members on Oregon labor and workplace regulation compliance
  • Technical assistance to members on SAIF workers compensation loss control to prevent worker accidents & injury
  • Technical assistance to members on SAIF workers compensation return to work to assure effective worker health & work restoration after injury
  • Technical assistance to members on hiring and training new workers in safe practices
  • Rulemaking representation in policies for OR-OSHA, Oregon labor, SAIF workers comp

Workers Compensation Services

  • AOL is a workers compensation agent for SAIF-insured forest employers
  • Nine insurance professionals work statewide to provide loss control and return-to-work services to SAIF-insured companies
  • Nine Oregon licensed workers compensation producers on AOL staff

Insurance Programs for Health, Accident, and Property-Casualty

  • AOL group sponsor for a health & accident insurance program, handled through its agent
  • AOL group sponsor for a property-casualty insurance program, handled through its agent
  • AOL group sponsor for employee benefit plans, handled through its agent

Materials & Training Guides for Safety & Health Programs

Information available for AOL member companies that is tailored to forest contractor workplace and worker safety, health and loss control:

  • Safety training DVDs [12 topics available]
  • Safety & health program guides
  • Hazard alerts
  • Emergency evacuation information
  • Safety & labor booklets; stickers, postcards, posters
  • Training guides – job-specific safety training
  • Accident investigation sheets
  • Inspection forms
  • Hiring practice assistance information
  • Safety meeting information/sheets
  • Spill plan and spill prevention workbook
  • Hazmat plans
  • Firefighter safety training
  • Company safety & health plan guidance
  • Drug-free workplace information
  • OR-OSHA Forest Activities Code references
  • Other general safety & health information

Training Programs that Promote Safety & Health

  • AOL regularly offers to AOL member companies a variety of safety, health, labor, and insurance training programs
  • AOL Annual Safety Conference
  • AOL Annual Convention--safety health, labor, and insurance topics; periodic assistance with safety programs at annual Oregon Logging Conference and Pacific Logging Congress
  • Local training classes in safety, including training topics on: logging supervisor; pilot car certification; helicopter emergency evacuation; safe climbing/climber rescue, compliance with OR-OSHA Forest Activities Code, and others
  • Training reimbursement program. AOL encourages basic awareness and training with: partial reimbursement for First Aid/CPR worker training; worker hearing testing

Radio System in Northwest Oregon

  • AOL regional radio network supports safety & emergency communications in NW area

Monthly communications on current safety & health topics

  • AOL monthly newsletter articles address relevant safety & health matters
  • Periodic mailings to members of safety & health flyers and alerts

Oregon-OSHA Safety Programs

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All forest employer companies who engage in forest activities in Oregon are statutorily required to comply with a comprehensive set of safety & health regulations—administered by Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division (OR-OSHA). Oregon is one of the few states in the US (also WA) that has a “Forest Activities” State Plan, OSHA Safety Code, which supersedes the federal OSHA worker safety regulations for forestry work. As such, the OR-OSHA requirements on forest activities are markedly more rigorous and thorough for Oregon forest operations than are federal OSHA rules.

Oregon forestry companies are necessarily informed and educated about OR-OSHA requirements on forest activities as a requirement of employing forest workers. Forestry companies participate in programs, regularly receive safety & health information, and are subject to compliance enforcement inspections from OR-OSHA compliance officers. OR-OSHA participation serves to foster worker and workplace safety in Oregon forest activities. Those forest activities include timber falling, logging, log processing, log & fiber trucking, road construction & maintenance, heavy equipment repair, slash/site preparation, erosion control, reforestation, fuels treatment & burning, firefighting, young stand forestry, stand release/spraying, and so forth.

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 Rules”).

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 www.orosha.org/standards/div_2.html
  • General Administrative Rules www.orosha.org/standards/div_1.html

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 -- Safety Programs

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The State Accident Industrial Fund Corporation (SAIF) has a unique charter to provide workers' compensation insurance to employers across the entire state of Oregon. By law, Oregon employers must carry workers' compensation insurance ("workers' comp") or be self-insured. Workers' comp insurance protects workers by paying for medical treatment and lost wages, and it protects employers by shielding them from liability lawsuits, that might result from work-related injuries or illnesses. Together, employers and workers in Oregon have one of the nation’s most highly-regarded, and cost-efficient workers' comp programs—because workers, employers, and insurance providers together uniquely cooperate to make workplaces safe, minimize worker injuries, and provide efficient workers’ comp services. Oregon’s economy is strengthened by effective workers’ compensation insurance programs and safe workplaces.

Handling over 50% of all workers' comp policies in the state, or over 600,000 workers, SAIF provides a majority of the forest workers comp insurance for forest contractors. SAIF was created by the Oregon legislature in 1914 as a state agency, and in 1980 became the nation's first public corporation for workers' comp. SAIF’s mission is "to make insurance available to as many Oregon employers as inexpensively as may be consistent with the overall integrity of the Industrial Accident Fund... and sound principles of insurance." There are other workers’ comp insurers writing a minority of forestry comp in Oregon.

Oregon forestry companies are necessarily informed and educated because employers work with SAIF and their SAIF loss control agencies (including AOL), to reduce both worker injuries and their company workers’ comp insurance cost. The Oregon workers’ comp system is designed to prevent or reduce worker injuries; provide appropriate medical treatment and benefits to injured workers; help injured workers recover and return to work as soon as possible; and resolve disputes quickly and fairly.

Forestry companies participate in programs, regularly receive safety & health information, and are subject to loss control safety & consultations from loss control agents. SAIF participation serves to foster worker and workplace safety in Oregon forest activities.

Oregon workers’ comp system effective; SAIF champions forestry worker/workplace safety

  • Statute requires Oregon employers to carry workers' compensation insurance for employees
  • Oregon law codifies unique workers’ comp system that empowers employers and insurers to mutually seek highly-effective workplace safety, worker training, injury prevention, and return-to-work
  • Oregon’s nation-leading workers' comp system—fosters workers, employers, and insurance providers cooperating together to make workplaces safe and prevent injuries, while economically providing workers’ comp services
  • SAIF provides a majority of the forest workers’ comp insurance for Oregon forest employers

SAIF workers’ comp sponsored safety, health and return-to work services

  • SAIF contracts with AOL to provide loss control professionals, who work statewide to provide safety, health, and insurance consultation services to SAIF insured’s
  • AOL staff offer loss control assistance, training, and help facilitate safe workplaces and effective return-to-work
  • Classes and online training on topics in workplace and worker safety, health, and loss control
  • AOL-SAIF consultative services provide guidance in safety & health management
  • Forestry employers are motivated to minimize losses through workplace safety programs
  • Technical assistance to members on SAIF workers comp loss control to prevent worker accidents & injury, plus fostering productive return-to-work after injuries
  • SAIF provides workplace and work safety & health training programs, classes, online training
  • Information online: www.saif.com

Employer/Logging Business Safety Programs

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The Oregon “logger,” or forest contractor, is ultimately responsible for providing worker safety & health and workplace safety for the contract forestry operations under their control. Oregon forest contractors must plan and conduct safe performance for the forestry operations of their employees and subcontractors. The independent forest contractor self-determines employee safety & health programs and safe workplaces to assure safe practices, performance, and business reputation.

Because forestry and logging work is demanding—physically, intellectually & emotionally—and potentially dangerous, the importance of work safety is always a consideration in these outdoor forest operations. The contractor is motivated to assure safe & healthy performance of workers for a number of important reasons:

  • Personal & ethical responsibility for their workers, who are much like family in a small business setting
  • Support business efficiency, productivity and timeliness
  • Achieve excellent contract performance and compensation
  • Employee retention, recruitment and pride enhanced
  • Avoid downtime from accidents; safety bonuses are incentive
  • Minimize loss exposure, liability and insurance premiums
  • Reputable performance fosters winning future contract work opportunities
  • Maintain contract compliance with landowner/purchaser safety standards
  • Maintain regulatory compliance with state & federal safety standards
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The forest contactor adheres to safety measures applicable to the particular forest operation—including those for Oregon forest activities, employment, worksites, liability, insurance, communication, highway transportation, hazardous materials, and so forth. The forest contractor, hires, trains, supervises, manages the workers under their employment. Forest activities are planned, designed, implemented, and monitored in ways that assures the safest work possible for the specific job at-hand.

The forest contractor must integrate a complex array of applicable Oregon regulations, compliance measures, and contract terms dealing with worker safety and health. And, this array of safety terms must be tailored daily to the many changing situations encountered—planned and unplanned—on the particular forest project. Each forest/logging project is akin to assembling a puzzle, made of pieces comprised of labor, tools, machines, vehicles, terrain, vegetation, weather, malfunctions, access, highways, contracts, and regulations.

A tree harvested, processed into four logs, moved to a road, sorted, loaded on four different trucks, may be delivered by the logger to four different timber mills—en-route, crossing multiple ownerships and legal jurisdictions, each having unique requirements. The many process, handling and transportation operations involve unique and carefully-planned safety practices.

To develop and manage safety programs, a forest contractor may engage a variety of programs to support their own contract company safety plans. The following Oregon venues may support a contractor’s worker and workplace safety:

  • Oregon-OSHA—offers consultation, assistance and training
  • SAIF Corp. —competitive workers’ comp. insurance; information, training
  • AOL/SAIF Partnership—offers forestry-specific consultation and training
  • Related State-Federal Laws—some agencies offer assistance & training
  • Landowners/purchasing contracts define worker safety terms
  • Landowning public agencies contracts define safety terms
  • Independent safety consulting service providers offer safety training and consultation to forest businesses (e.g. driving, hearing, 1st Aid, drug-free, technical operations, etc)
  • Community college business assistance and adult education programs
  • Oregon Pro-Logger Program fosters continuing education in safety

Oregon Professional Logger Program (OPL) -- Safety Programs

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Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc. administers the Oregon Professional Logger Program (OPL), as a service to AOL members and other non-member Subscribers—typically totaling approximately 600 OPL-certified contract companies. The OPL certification program annually requires companies to complete continuing education, which includes training programs about safety & health topics. The OPL program serves to foster worker and workplace safety in Oregon forest contract operations, by requiring OPL-certified companies to regularly participate in continuing education addressing safety.

The OPL program is a statewide voluntary professional standard that certifies logging & forest companies for their continuing education in the areas of forest practices, safety, business, and sustainable forestry. Established in 1995, the OPL program now recognizes approximately 600 OPL-certified companies that are engaged in forest operations, including harvest, construction, transportation, forest improvement, reforestation, and forest protection.

OPL certification requirements

  1. Enrollment paid (AOL member fee; or OPL subscriber fee);
  2. Annual continuing education credits completed (32 credit-hours for ‘Initial’ certification; thereafter, 10 credit-hours annually); and
  3. Not sanctioned (OPL-certified company required by OPL Standard Handbook to abide by the OPL Professional Conduct Code, which requires adherence to regulations & laws).

OPL company attends safety & health continuing education via several mechanisms

An OPL company regularly engages in training, not all of which is driven by OPL certification requirements. Safety & health training is available for contractors from many venues, but not limited to the following sources/purposes:

  • Contractor training of workers for job assignments
  • Contractor company safety policy for company’s workers
  • OR-OSHA required worker training
  • SAIF workers comp loss control consulting services
  • AOL-offered safety & health training targeting logging/forest contract operators & workers
  • Landowner/purchaser contract terms requiring safety proficiencies
  • Landowner/purchaser provided training of contractors & workers, including safety measures
  • Safety training venues provided by outside sources, such as Oregon Logging Conference, safety consultants, training organizations
  • Safety training provided by agencies: OR-OSHA, SAIF, BOLI, ODOT, US-DOT, etc.

*OPL-required continuing education credits, in the “OPL-General” credit category

* Note: OPL is not the primary driving mechanism for logging safety training. Other long-established regulatory, surety, competitive, and contract business mechanisms promote and assure safety training of logging contract workers. However, OPL credit does promote and foster improvement in worker safety & health, through continuing education.

Forest Landowner Safety Programs

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Oregon forest landowners and timber purchasers often dictate safe performance expectations for the forestry operations conducted on their forestlands, or their timber stumpage purchases. Many Oregon forest landowners and timber purchasing companies, who hire the forestry contract services from forest contractors, will define worker safety, employment and liability terms for those contractors in their written contract agreements.

Forestry and logging contracts in Oregon commonly specify terms that assure safe and responsible performance of contracted forest management services. Contractor selection, compensation, and future contracting can depend upon safe performance of forestry operations by the contract business. Furthermore, some landowning/purchasing companies sponsor education programs for their contractors, and regularly provide safety & health information, which serves to foster worker and workplace safety in contract operations.

  • Landowners/purchasing companies define worker safety terms in their contracts
  • Landowning public agencies define safety terms in their contracts
  • Landowning/purchasing companies may sponsor safety programs for their contractors
  • Forest landowners/purchasers are motivated to assure safe operations on their forestry projects because such landowners seek to minimize loss exposure and liability
  • Forest certification programs (Sustainable Forestry Initiative, American Tree Farm System, and Forest Stewardship Council) may require, or encourage, landowning/ purchasing companies to utilize certified logging contractors trained in safe operations (OPL-certified in Oregon)