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June 3, 2020

Each year, the logging industry occupies one of the top positions as the statistical winner for the most dangerous profession in the U.S. This is because more accidents are leading to injuries and fatalities in logging than almost any other industry today.

While logging injuries are a serious concern for this industry, there are other risks that those in the industry must be aware of. When it comes to logging insurance knowing what is needed and the risks that are present is the best way to ensure you are fully protected.

Logging Industry History

In the 19th century, there were few insurance companies providing policies for lumbermen. This is because many of the lumberyard owners believed that the stock-held insurance companies did not understand the industry and were overcharging for coverage or not offering coverage at all.

Also, these insurance companies didn’t have a huge understanding of challenges or risks specific to lumber-related operations and the long-term focus that was necessary to provide casualty and property insurance coverage for the related risks.

This was when the mutual lumber insurance niche was formed and, through the years, grew to serve several industries including woodworking, building materials, and the lumber sectors.

While a lot has changed, the main issues remain when it comes to insuring the lumber and logging industry. Industry expertise and proactive loss prevention are still critical when it comes to insuring businesses operating in the lumber niche.

Significant Risks and Insurance Needs in the Lumber and Logging Industries

Some of the most serious risks in this industry include catastrophic fires, slips and falls, and loading and unloading accidents. However, there are also commercial auto exposures in this industry, which is now more of a concern than it was in the past.

Get to know more about the specific risks in this industry below.

Loss Related Issues

Business owners and insurers must focus on safety to maintain sustainable and long-term profitability. In the logging industry, some of the loss-prevention recommendations are process-oriented. They include the creation of maintenance checklists and logs that don’t require a business owner to make any capital investment.

For example, to prevent fires, the logging industry needs to create and implement a written safety plan to address:

  • Combustible dust that gathers on surfaces
  • Electrical maintenance to prevent electrical system failure
  • Machinery preventive maintenance to prevent equipment from breaking down
  • Emergency response plans including fire department visits annually
  • Hot work permit programs to prevent fire during hot-work conditions
  • Disaster recovery program

Implementing these proactive plans helps reduce the risk that insurance companies take when providing coverage for a lumber or logging company.

Commercial Auto Concerns

Commercial auto losses are another risk in the lumber and logging industry. Businesses can work with their insurers to implement a fleet safety program that is documented and actionable.

The program should include drug screening, background checks, road testing, and physical exams for all drivers. Continual monitoring should also be enacted to ensure continued compliance.

Checklists and guidelines will also have an essential role in preventing slip and fall issues within this industry.

Understanding the Risks of the Logging and Lumber Industries

The risks included in this industry face are diverse. Insurers who specialize in this niche can work with business owners to help reduce risk exposure.

Just like in the 19th century, there are some companies that provide insurance for those working in this segment, but many don’t specialize in the industry. Most agencies come and go from the industry due to the nature of the losses and risks present.

What Do Typical Logging and Lumber Insurance Policies Cover?

The policies available today cover an array of risks that those in this industry face. Some of the most common coverage options include:

  • Foliage removal on public and private property
  • Clearing areas for road development or construction
  • Thinning forests to encourage healthier growth
  • Fire prevention

The coverage is also in place for building access roads to reach a forest, along with the removal and shipping of the lumber harvested for commercial purposes.

Safety Tips for the Logging and Lumber Industry

Insurance companies want to ensure that those operating in the industry are taking steps to minimize risks and losses. To do this, some tips may be needed.

Implement the Required Training Programs to Ensure Safety

Provide all workers with the training programs required by OSHA and present safety information to workers regularly. The training program created needs to reflect the current industry's way of thinking related to safety approaches in the logging industry.

Create Work Areas That are Not Adjacent to an Occupied Area

Another effective way to reduce logging accidents and risks is by keeping areas where cutting is being done segregated from the non-logging areas. In fact, OSHA mandates that areas are created to ensure trees are unable to fall into a work area occupied by non-loggers.

Logging Insurance Protects You, Your Workers and Your Business

Purchasing the right logging and lumber insurance for your business will protect you, your business, and your workers from risk. If an accident does occur, you can feel confident the logging insurance you have purchased will provide the coverage needed for the situation.

If you need to purchase logging insurance, or have questions about the coverage that you need, contact us. Our team can help ensure you get the coverage needed and that you get this coverage for a price that works with your budget.

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