Human factors affecting logging injury incidents in Idaho and the potential for real-time location-sharing technology to improve safety

Soren M. Newman, Robert F. Keefe, Randall H. Brooks, Emily Q. Ahonen, Ann M. Wempe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Human factors, including inadequate situational awareness, can contribute to fatal and near-fatal traumatic injuries in logging, which is among the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Real-time location-sharing technology may help improve situational awareness for loggers. We surveyed and interviewed professional logging contractors in Idaho to (1) characterize current perceptions of in-woods hazards and the human factors that lead to injuries; (2) understand their perspectives on using technology-based location-sharing solutions to improve safety in remote work environments; and (3) identify logging hazard scenarios that could be mitigated using location-sharing technology. We found production pressure, fatigue, and inexperience among the most-common factors contributing to logging injuries from the perspective of participants. Potential limitations of location-sharing technology identified included potential for distraction and cost. Contractors identified several situations where the technology may help improve safety, including (1) alerting workers of potential hand-faller injuries due to lack of movement; (2) helping rigging crews to maintain safe distances from yarded trees and logs during cable logging; and (3) providing a means for equipment operators to see approaching ground workers, especially in low-visibility situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Cable logging
  • Forestry workers
  • Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Frequency (GNSS-RF)
  • Internet of things
  • Interviews
  • Location-based services
  • Logging safety
  • Mixed methods
  • Situational awareness
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety Research

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