Logging Safety: A Field Guide

Section Ten: First Aid and Emergencies

Emergency Plan

  • Logging operations are often in remote areas far from emergency medical care.
    • Establish a site-wide communication system and a reliable way of contacting EMS on the work site. Identify areas of cell phone reception or the phone(s) to be used in the event of an emergency.
    • Review the emergency plan and procedures for emergency contact with the employees at all work sites.
    • Discuss what to do if a serious injury occurs.
  • OSHA requires logging operations to be prepared for emergency medical care situations with first aid training and access to first aid.
  • First aid can often be a major factor in saving a life.

First Aid

  • All employees, including supervisors, must be certified in First Aid and CPR.
  • First aid kits are required at each work site where trees are being cut, at each active landing, and on each employee transport vehicle.
  • The number of kits and content must reflect the degree of isolation, the number of employees, and the hazards anticipated.
  • Persons responding to accidents may be exposed to bloodborne diseases.
    • Avoid potential exposure by not contacting the blood or other infectious material.
    • Control the exposure if the blood or infectious material cannot be avoided entirely.
    • Use PPE to prevent direct contact with blood, bodily fluids or other potentially infectious material.
  • Workers should also be aware of first aid for insect bites, stings, tick-borne diseases, and snake bites.

First Aid Kits Contents

The minimum kit for a small work site of 2-3 people:

  • Gauze pads (at least 4x4 inches)
  • Two large gauze pads (at least 8x10 inches
  • Box adhesive bandages (band-aids)
  • One package gauze roller bandage (at least 2 inches wide)
  • Two triangular bandages
  • Wound cleaning agent such as sealed moistened towelettes
  • Scissors
  • At least one blanket
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive tape
  • Latex Gloves
  • Resuscitation equipment, such as resuscitation bag, airway, or pocket mask
  • Two elastic wraps
  • Splint
  • Instant ice packs (activate by squeezing)
  • Directions for requesting emergency assistance
  • Extractor (snake bite kit)

For larger operation or multiple operation at the same location, provide additional kits or additional supplies. See Appendix A of the OSHA Logging Standard for minimum required contents.

First Aid Kits Should Be...

  • Kept clean.
  • Well stocked.
  • Inspected often.
  • Available when needed.
  • Kept in a visible location.
  • Located at each cutting site, landing, and in each worker transport vehicle.

First Aid and CPR Training

First Aid and CPR training and certificates must remain current. The basic elements of First Aid and CPR training should include:

  • The definition of first aid.
  • Legal issues of applying first aid (Good Samaritan Laws).
  • Basic anatomy.
  • CPR.
  • Application of dressings and slings.
  • Treatment of strains, sprains and slings.
  • Immobilization of injured persons.
  • Handling and transporting injured persons.
  • Treatment of bites, stings, or contact with poisonous plants or animals.

First aid and CPR training should include assessing patients with the following conditions:

  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Drug overdose
  • Eye injuries
  • Extreme temperature exposure (hypothermia / hyperthermia)
  • Hemorrhage
  • Lacerations/abrasions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of mental functioning (psychosis / hallucinations, etc.)
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Poisoning
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Shock

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

  1. Time is of the essence. Follow the company emergency notification procedure to call 911.
  2. Open airway with head tilt and chin lift.
  3. Check for breathing (look, listen, feel).
    • If the victim is not breathing normally, provide 2 rescue breaths. (1 second each. Breaths should be normal, not deep breaths.)
    • Be sure the chest rises with each breath.
    • If chest does not rise, reopen airway; try again.
  4. Following two (2) rescue breaths, begin compressions.*
    • Place heel of one hand on the breastbone in the center of the chest between the nipples.
    • Place heel of second hand on top of the first so hands are overlapped and parallel (fingers are pointing in the same direction).
    • Compress lower half of breastbone (at nipple line) 1.5 to 2 inches.
    • Allow chest to recoil completely after compression.
    • Rate of about 100 times per minute. "Push hard and push fast".
    • 30 compressions, then 2 rescue breaths (use normal 1 second breaths, not deep breaths).
    • Check for response every 2 minutes or after 5 cycles of compression and ventilation at a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths.
    • Continue until rescue personnel arrive.

*If you are unwilling or unable to give rescue breaths, begin chest compressions.

Head Injuries

Lay victim down while keeping victim's head and shoulders slightly raised.

For bleeding scalp:

  1. Control bleeding with direct pressure. For suspected skull fracture, apply pressure to the outside edges of wound.
  2. For shallow scalp wound, wash with soap and water. Flush with water under pressure.

For swelling and pain:

  1. Apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes.

For motionless victim:

  1. Check for breathing. Begin CPR if needed.
  2. Place on left side to keep airway open, drain fluids, and prevent vomiting.

Spine Injuries

If victim cannot:

  • feel pinching of fingers or toes.
  • wiggle fingers or toes.
  • squeeze your hand or push foot against your hand.

Follow these steps:

  1. Keep checking breathing. Begin CPR if needed.
  2. Stabilize victim against any movement. Instruct victim not to move.
  3. Call 911.

ALERT: Do not move victim unless endangered. Wait for trained EMS personnel with proper equipment.


  1. Cover entire wound with clean, dry cloth or sterile dressing.
  2. Press against entire wound for 5-10 minutes. If bleeding does not slow or stop, press harder over a wider area. If bleeding is from an arm or leg, raise the limb above heart level unless the arm or leg is broken.

Eye Injuries

If an object is embedded in victim's eye:

  1. Do not remove object.
  2. Protect eye to prevent object being driven deeper into the eye.
  3. Seek medical attention immediately.

Snake Bites

  1. Get away from the snake.
  2. Keep the victim quiet so venom will not spread as quickly.
  3. Gently wash the bitten area with soap and water.
  4. If you are more than a few hours from a medical facility with antivenin or if the the skin is swelling rapidly, immediately suction over the fang mark(s) with the Extractor for 30 minutes. Cutting the skin is not needed.
  5. Seek medical attention immediately.

ALERT: Do not use the following methods for snake bites: cold or ice, cut and suck method, mouth suction, electric shock, or tourniquet.

Emergency Response Checklist

  • Is there a site-wide communication system and a reliable way of contacting EMS on the work site?
  • If using a cell phone, have you identified areas of reception?
  • Has the workforce discussed what to do if a serious injury occurs?
  • Do all cutting sites, landings and worker transport vehicles have first aid kits?
  • Do all workers have current First Aid and CPR training completion certificates?
  • Have you considered purchasing smoke-producing locator flares to assist a Life-Flight in locating your site?