Submitting an FRA Safety Alert


Last month I wrote about FRA Technical Releases, and how to submit ideas for publication. The FRA Safety Alert is another very popular publication that we offer, and something that can greatly benefit those working in forestry industry jobs.

The goal of the Safety Alert is to alert members and others in the forest industry nationwide of potential hazards by describing incidents. Each Safety Alert addresses a particular injury or near miss, what caused it, and how it might have been avoided. Your interest in sharing knowledge of actual accidents may help prevent future accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.

All specific detail of the incident is kept out of the alert; do not include specific information such as names, dates, companies, or accident locations. If an FRA employee assists with gathering information or writing the alert, all information will be held in complete confidence. To ensure confidentiality we use sketches of the incident, instead of photos.

Safety Alerts follow the Heinrich/Lateiner accident analysis method outlined below. Each topic must be adequately described.

  • Background: Who was doing what? (For example, a logger was felling a tree.) Was the general time of day a factor? What was the weather like? In what general geographic region did the incident occur? Were timber stand conditions or topography relevant?
  • Personal Characteristics: Describe the person or persons involved: approximate age, length of employment, brief job description, and whether the worker was considered fully trained. Did the worker(s) have any physical disabilities or accident history? Was the worker(s) wearing personal protective equipment? If so, what type of PPE?
  • Unsafe Act or Condition: What unsafe actions led up to the accident? What unsafe conditions contributed to it?
  • Accident: What actually happened?
  • Injury: What were the results of the accident: the type and extent of injuries, medical treatment, property damage, and costs? Did the accident result in lost time from the job?
  • Recommendations for Correction: What should be done to correct the situation and to prevent a similar accident from occurring again?

FRA welcomes your help in reducing accidents and injuries in the forest products industry. If you are aware of an incident which has occurred, please consider contributing to an FRA Safety Alert by contacting an FRA Region Manager/Coordinator. We will assist in any way that we can.

Your concern for safety will be appreciated by forestry workers all across the country!

FRA Safety Alerts can be found on the FRA website, and are accessible to everyone: