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Assessing safety awareness and knowledge and behavioral change among West Virginia loggers
  1. J C Helmkamp1,
  2. J L Bell2,
  3. W J Lundstrom1,
  4. J Ramprasad1,
  5. A Haque1
  1. 1Center for Rural Emergency Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  2. 2Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr James C Helmkamp
 Center for Rural Emergency Medicine, West Virginia University, PO Box 9151, Morgantown, WV 26506-9151, USA;


Objective: To determine if a video used during logger training influences safety attitude, knowledge, and workplace habits.

Method: From April 2002 to October 2003, loggers receiving training through the West Virginia Division of Forestry were given a new safety module. This consisted of a pre-training survey, viewing video, brief introduction to field safety guide, and an immediate post-training survey. Six months after training, loggers were contacted by telephone to assess workplace behavioral changes.

Results: 1197 loggers attended 80 training sessions and completed surveys; 21% were contacted at follow up. Pre-training surveys indicated that half said “accidents” were part of the job and had experienced a “close call” in their work. An overwhelming majority felt that safety management and periodic meetings were important. Over 75% indicated they would not take risks in order to make a profit. Several statistically significant improvements were noted in safety knowledge after viewing the video: logger’s location in relation to the tree stump during fatal incidents and the pictorial identification of an overloaded truck and the safest cutting notch. At follow up, many of the loggers said they related to the real life victim stories portrayed in the video. Further, the field guide served as a quick and easy reference and taught them valuable tips on safe cutting and felling.

Conclusions: Significant changes in safety knowledge and attitude among certified loggers resulted from viewing the video during training. Subsequent use of the video and field guide at the worksite encouraged positive change in self reported work habits and practices.

  • OSHA, Office of Safety and Health Administration
  • WVDOF, West Virginia Division of Forestry
  • WVFACE, West Virginia Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
  • WVU, West Virginia University
  • logging industry
  • safety awareness
  • occupational injury

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