Different industries face unique hazards depending on the specifics of their duties. One of the industries renowned for its everyday threats is the logging and forestry industry. Logging involves everything related to the felling of trees, and hauling of trees, and logs from logging sites to their required locations. It includes transporting personnel, equipment, and heavy machinery to and from woodlands. Due to the specifics of logging activities, workers are constantly faced with logging accidents while felling trees, cutting trees into logs, removing broken limbs from trees, marking dangerous ones, debarking, loading, unloading, and storing.
These hazards are further intensified owing to the equipment used to complete these activities. For example, some equipment found with loggers on-site includes chainsaws, logging machines, and chippers.
In addition, loggers also have to work under dangerous situations and elements, such as uneven terrain and challenging weather conditions. It is no wonder that this aspect of forestry is rife with all sorts of accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, logging has consistently been one of the most hazardous industries in the United States. Hence, accounting for a 21-fold higher fatality rate, which means 73.7 deaths per 100,000 workers per year.
Given all the hazards associated with this industry, it is no surprise that there are also safety rules to govern the conduct of workers. There are also maintenance agencies to ensure that every worker is safe while in the course of employment.
Therefore, whenever these safety standards are violated, it is essential to identify the source of the accident and point out the liable party.
Causes of Logging Accidents in the United States
Different factors and incidents have been identified to be the most common causes of logging accidents in the United State. They are as follows;
A blunt force from trees, limbs, and other objects
Most logging accidents can be directly associated with falling objects since one of the most significant activities in logging is the felling of trees. Therefore, there may be falling logs, broken limbs, and even people getting crushed by trees during logging.
A case in point is Guerrero v. Westgate Lumber Co. In this case, the appellant sustained grievous injuries when struck by a large log that fell from the top of a loaded truck.
Another way this accident can happen is during the cutting itself. The potential harm is that the tree may fall in an unprecedented direction and could fall on unsuspecting workers.
Additionally, loggers working from heights may get hit by falling branches or accidentally drop tools or equipment on their colleagues.
Getting struck by equipment
Loggers use various tools that can be dangerous if not operated or maintained correctly. Therefore, when equipment or machinery is in use, there is a risk of getting struck. Such types of equipment may include chainsaws, cranes, skidders, feller bunchers, and processors,
In instances like this, it is possible to point out the cause of the incident. On the one hand, it can result from improper usage and operation, thereby making the operator liable for the accident.
On the other hand, the accident may be caused by poor maintenance. Therefore, several people, such as the maintenance agency, may be liable.
Loggers work in the forest, and one of the significant characteristics of the forest is uneven terrain and mud.
Consequently, loggers may be bound to get involved in a slip and fall or trip over woods, cut branches, logs, stumps, or wet leaves. Sometimes, working from higher heights such as trees, lifts, logging platforms, and trucks can lead them to fall from such heights.
Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents are the most common workplace injuries across all industries.
Logging trucks are notorious for causing accidents and blocking major highways. Whenever these accidents occur, there is a risk of grave fatalities, especially because of the logs on the truck.
An instance can be seen in the case of the crash involving a log truck that shut down US 101 west of Olympia on the 9th of December, 2022.
The collision caused logs to be littered all over the road and crushed a smaller vehicle. Thankfully, the injuries recorded weren’t too severe. This type of luck is usually only seen in some cases.
For example, in the South Avenue Crash in California between a log hauler and a semi-driver, there were sad tidings. Due to the tragic collision, the semi-driver couldn’t make it.
Sometimes, these accidents are caused by failure to adhere to simple traffic rules. This was evident in the tragic Negaunee High School student incident.
In this case, two students were driving down the lane. The driving student failed to obey a flashing red light at the intersection, causing a logging truck to hit them. One of the students sadly passed away, while the other suffered injuries.
It should also be noted that pedestrians are more at risk of logging truck accidents because of the heavy trauma.
Portraying Logging Truck Accidents Using Legal Animation
Logging accidents are diverse and can be caused by different people and circumstances depending on the facts of the case.
Sometimes, the real cause of the incident may be in dispute. It would be the duty of the wronged party to showcase the cause or leave it to the defendant to thwart their case for lack of evidence.
With the help of a qualified expert witness who can help evaluate the incident in relation to the environment, people, equipment, and other factors, they can reveal the truth through visualization and legal animation.
Legal animation can be very helpful in cases involving logging and the activities that surround it. With it, it is possible to recover compensation to cover for the injury sustained as well as its effects, such as loss of earning power, mobility, and the ability to live a healthy life.
However, as crucial as legal animation is in logging accidents, the dream of an easy win is laid to waste without the help of a legal animation company renowned for creating admissible demonstrative exhibits.
In order to keep this dream alive, Fox-AE can assist in creating fantastic courtroom animation to suit any logging accident case and ensure success in the case.