Logging workers held about 53,700 jobs in 2014. About 1 out of 4 were self-employed.
Logging is physically demanding and can be dangerous. Workers spend all their time outdoors, sometimes in poor weather and often in isolated areas. The increased use of enclosed machines has decreased some of the discomforts caused by bad weather and has generally made logging much safer.
Most logging work involves lifting, climbing, and other strenuous activities, although machinery has eliminated some heavy labor. Falling branches, vines, and rough terrain are constant hazards, as are dangers associated with felling trees and handling logs.
Chain saws and other power equipment can be dangerous; therefore, workers must be careful and must use proper safety measures and equipment, such as hardhats, safety clothing, protective-hearing devices, and boots.
Injuries and Illnesses
Despite the industry's strong emphasis on safety, logging workers have a high rate of fatal occupational injuries. Most fatalities occur through contact with a machine or an object, such as a log.
Workers sometimes commute long distances between their homes and logging sites. In more densely populated states, commuting distances are shorter. Logging work is often seasonal, and workers can find more employment opportunities during the warmer months because snow and cold weather adversely affect working conditions.