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Lumberjacks: Take car to avoid common logging accidents

The logging industry is, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. Almost any slip-up can result in permanent disability or death very easily. Emergency medical care, at best, is often far away from the scene of any accident.

What are the biggest dangers to anyone cutting trees, logging and working at a sawmill?

Injuries from objects

You have to be particularly careful to keep track of what your co-workers are doing. A dropped ax or spike can do major damage to the human body. Power saws that aren't properly sharpened can cause a kickback that propels the equipment into a bystander. Standing downhill from logs puts you in danger of being caught in a roll.

You need to quickly learn to keep a careful distance between yourself and any object that could crush or cut you if it breaks free. Keep an eye out for the inexperienced logger as well -- he or she may need your guidance to get home safely.

Falling trees and debris

Trees and tree limbs alike can kill if they fall unexpectedly -- and about one-quarter of logging accidents relate to just that. The impact of even a fairly small branch can be severe if it falls far enough.

Similarly, if you're working in the mill, flying wood chips and bark can actually cut open exposed skin or damage your eyes. It's very hard to understand the force that a small object can exert on a body -- until you experience it. Take all the necessary precautions to stay safe -- including wearing appropriate protective gear and goggles.

Falls and crushing accidents

Falls and crushing accidents are often related. Losing your footing in an area where logging is happening can easily leave you with hands, feet and limbs stuck under logs or equipment.

Be very conscious of the danger and always try to work in teams. Don't ever "solo" -- no matter how simple a task seems.

Logging and sawmill deaths can be largely prevented -- but it takes an abundance of caution. It is up to each person to take precautions for the sake of everyone on else on the logging team. Safety, in certain professions, is absolutely a group effort.

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