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For Immediate Release
September 12, 2003
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks 503-947-7428

Training for new logging safety rules announced in Lebanon and Molalla

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has announced that new Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) for safety and health in forest-related industries will become effective on December 1, 2003. The new rules, which were developed by a committee of industry representatives working in conjunction with Oregon OSHA, are designed to protect workers who engage in professions in Oregon's forests.

Forest activity professions covered by the updated rules include logging or timber thinning, log hauling and yarding, reforestation and stream restoration, forest road construction or maintenance, forest fire fighting, chemical application, clearing and slash disposal, marking, chipping and timber cruising.

Providing safety rules in straightforward language was a goal of the update process. "A new choker-setter could come to work and everything they need to review is in one subsection," says Mike Lulay, technical specialist for Oregon OSHA. Rules are more clear and concise, updated to reflect current technology in forest practices and eliminating outdated or obsolete provisions to ensure uniformity between OR-OSHA requirements for other industries and forest-related activities.

Three main changes in the new safety rules affect forest activity employers:

1) The elements of a basic safety and health management program are spelled out.

Rules now address in clear language management commitment, supervisor responsibilities, accident investigation requirements, employee involvement, hazard identification, training, and annual evaluation of the safety and health management program.

2) The safety standard is process oriented.

For improved understanding, rules were written based on the typical sequence of processes occurring in a forest-based occupation.

3) Protective structures for machine operators are addressed.

The rules address design provisions for Tip-Over Protective Structures (TOPS) and fully enclosed cabs to protect equipment operators. Equipment manufactured after July 1, 2004 will be required to be fully enclosed to protect the equipment operator.

Training sessions to familiarize employers and workers with the new rules will be offered throughout Oregon. The training sessions will be conducted by Oregon OSHA during regional meetings of Associated Oregon Loggers chapters. Training sessions are open to the public. Two meetings in Molalla and Lebanon have been recently added to the schedule. Upcoming meetings will be held in the following cities:

Lebanon: September 19

Contact Associated Oregon Loggers at (800) 452-6023 for additional information about this meeting.

Molalla: October 14 (date revised on 9-23)

Contact Associated Oregon Loggers at (800) 452-6023 for additional information about this meeting.

Seaside: October 9

Contact Associated Oregon Loggers at (800) 452-6023 for additional information about this meeting.

The new rules are the result of multiple public hearings during fall 2002 and several years of meetings by the OR-OSHA Forest Activities Advisory Committee, made up of representatives of the logging industry, timberland owners, organized labor, state and federal agencies, and other industry stakeholders.

Additional information about the rule changes, and text of the adopted rules, is available on the Oregon OSHA Web site, www.orosha.org. For answers to technical questions about the safety rules, contact Mike Lulay in Oregon OSHA's Standards and Technical section at (503) 947-7431, or toll-free in Oregon, (800) 922-2689.