UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Tree felling — whether by professional loggers in a forest setting or by landscapers in urban and rural landscapes — is the most dangerous job in what are two of the most dangerous industries, according to Penn State researchers who conducted a new study of associated deaths.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls logging “the most dangerous occupation in the United States.” The fatal injury rate for loggers is more than 30 times the rate for all U.S. workers. Tree-care workers also encounter hazards at rates much higher than the average employee.
“This was the first research to look at commercial logging and landscaping services together,” said Judd Michael, Nationwide Insurance Professor of Agricultural Safety and Health and professor of agricultural and biological engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences. “It was a unique and more accurate way to assess fatalities. The commonality, of course, is that workers in both fields fell trees. They do it using very different methods, but either way, it is extremely hazardous work.”