W O R K P L A C E I N J U R I E S
The facts of the faller: Occupational
injuries, illnesses, and fatalities to loggers
By Jill Janocha and Caleb Hopler
Logging workers deal with a set of working conditions unique among all other occupations.1 Logging jobs are
characterized by strenuous work, long hours, seasonal employment, and some of the most hazardous conditions
in the workforce.2 Loggers often work many hours at remote locations in harsh weather conditions, with limited
access to medical services.3 Thanks to television shows like "Ax Men," "Swamp Loggers," "American Loggers,"
and "Heli-Loggers," viewers see the hazards these workers face.4 But what do the numbers show? This Beyond
April 2018 | Vol. 7 / No. 5
U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
the Numbers article examines data from the 2006 to 2015 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which
are used to describe the fatal work injuries of loggers.
Nonfatal injuries and illnesses
Although this article focuses on fatal occupational injuries, some information about the nonfatal injury and illness
experiences of loggers from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) is presented for context.
Nonfatal injury and illness data for logging workers do not include the self-employed, but fatal data do, so data are
not directly comparable. This is an important distinction, because 25 percent of all loggers are self-employed.5
Also, as the section heading points out, nonfatal data include illnesses. Fatal data exclude illness-related deaths
unless precipitated by an injury event.
Logging workers experienced a total of 8,380 nonfatal injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work over
the 2006–2015 period in private industry. The nonfatal rate of injury or illness with days away from work for logging
workers in private industry in 2015 was 133.2 per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, which is about 40
percent higher than the private industry rate of 93.9. (See chart 1.) The type of event leading to the nonfa