The proposed study will focus on the logging industry in Public Health Region 6, which is serviced by the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education, headquartered at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. Our research efforts will focus on logging operations in the Ark-La-Tex region (Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas logging region). The long-term goal of the proposed project is to reduce or eliminate injuries and fatalities among a vulnerable workforce of logging workers. The objectives of this proposal are to describe safety management practices currently being used on logging cut sites, as well as examine the relationships between safety leadership, group safety climate, and worker safety behaviors. This study will engage logging contractors in a participatory approach to develop a survey instrument to assess safety management and leadership among contractors, and group safety culture and safety behaviors among workers. The administration of this instrument will generate data which will help develop a safety management and leadership training module for logging contractors.
Decades of effort to improve safety in logging have resulted in some positive changes and yet, logging remains one of the most hazardous occupations in the US. With few exceptions, safety management, leadership, and group safety climate have yet to be investigated on a large scale in the forestry industry in the US, a work sector where there are numerous contractor relationships. This study will be the first to address National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) and the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education (SW Ag Center) priorities and goals in logging through safety management, leadership and group safety climate analysis. The results of this analysis will culminate in the development and pilot testing of a safety management and leadership training module for logging contractors in the Ark-La-Tex timber producing region.