Hardly a year goes by when there isn't a logger injured or killed in the woods. These injuries are costly, and too often they lead to severe financial hardship for the victims and their families.
For many years, the Agency's Forestry Division has recognized that through education and training, thinking safety can become a habit, and many injuries can be avoided. Even with the limited funding available for many years, the Division was able to provide support for logger safety programs that trained more than 100 woods-workers. With the recent availability of Ice Storm Recovery Grants from the U.S. Forest Service, a significant increase in financial and technical support has been possible.
During the past year alone, nearly $100,000 has been made available to partner organizations such as the Vermont Forestry Foundation, the Logger Education to Advance Professionalism program, the Yankee Forest Safety Network, the Northeast Stewardship Project, and the Vermont Woodland Owners Association in support of safety training. When all the training is complete, loggers will have invested more than 600 days receiving training in CPR, standard first aid, Advanced Logger Rescue, and the intensive Game of Logging chainsaw safety program and skidder/forwarder training. In addition, approximately 70 landowners and 40 foresters will have participated in chainsaw safety training programs. These courses not only teach participants safe and productive techniques, but also help them incorporate a safety mindset in all of their operations.
Safety training sometimes seems expensive when looking at the cost in dollars and "non-productive" time, but when the cost of an injury or death is considered, it is the cheapest insurance anyone can buy.