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Boost Workplace Safety in Wood Products Manufacturing

In the wood products industry, workers frequently handle heavy machinery and potentially hazardous materials—which means safety should always be a top concern. However, with a robust safety training program, employers can protect their team from accidents and injuries. In this post, we'll explore some of those precautions.

Importance of Workplace Safety


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 396.8 thousand non-fatal injuries and illnesses were reported in the manufacturing sector in 2022. Out of these, 253.3 thousand cases involved lost workdays, restrictions on work, or transfers.


A total of 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in all private industry sectors in 2022—an increase of 7.5% from the previous year. Injuries increased by 4.5% to 2.3 million cases, while illnesses increased by 26.1% to 460,700.


When the stakes are this high, it is a moral obligation for employers to ensure the safety of their team. This assurance (alongside comprehensive workers' compensation insurance) protects the business, too, by improving morale, productivity, and safeguarding against legal action or reputation damage.


The best way to do this is by adhering to OSHA's recommendations. These standard measures protect workers from hazardous conditions and ensure their safety. On top of that, they help cultivate a company culture that values its employees.


Detailed Safety Training Programs


The wood products industry has implemented several comprehensive programs that leave no stone unturned. These programs provide workers with a comprehensive understanding of various topics, enabling them to comply with safety regulations. 

The best way to lessen the likelihood of accidents involving hazardous materials is to make sure that everyone in the workplace is aware of how to handle them properly. For example, hazard communication, emergency action, fall prevention, and bloodborne pathogen exposure programs teach workers how to prevent, deal with, and communicate common hazards.

Ensuring the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)including safety goggles, helmets, gloves, and hearing protection—is absolutely essential. Workers' health and safety are protected by PPE because it helps reduce exposure to potential hazards such as flying debris, loud noises, and chemical splashes.

Safety training programs are also important for those who use heavy machinery, such as forklifts. Proper training in this area prevents serious accidents and injuries. LockOut/TagOut programs, for example, instruct employees on safely shutting down equipment to prevent accidental start-ups, protecting everyone involved.

These training programs are carefully crafted to prioritize the well-being of workers and promote a secure working environment. Fortunately, Forestry Mutual Insurance's loss control team provides these trainings and more to ensure our clients are fully prepared and in compliance with safety regulations.


Partnering with Forestry Mutual Insurance for Better Safety


To help enhance safety standards in the wood products industry, Forestry Mutual Insurance provides a number of tools. In addition to our workers' comp services, our clients gain access to professional safety consultations, training resources, and risk management services—all of which contribute to a better workplace.


"To combat [the rise in workplace accidents], we provide comprehensive training materials to ensure compliance with U.S. and Regional States OSHA standards. Our goal is to equip businesses with the tools they need to properly onboard and train employees, reducing the likelihood of workplace accidents." — Greg Plumley, Loss Control Director with Forestry Mutual Insurance

Unlike traditional insurers, Forestry Mutual Insurance specializes solely in workers' compensation for over fifty-years, allowing for customized programs tailored to the unique needs of the wood products industry. This specialization translates into tangible benefits for policyholders.


For more information on how Forestry Mutual Insurance can enhance safety measures and reduce workplace injuries in wood products manufacturing, contact us. Together, let's build a safer and more secure future for the industry.