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February 13, 2013

Group plans classes on logging safety

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health in Cooperstown is sponsoring six daylong classes on logging safety around the state.

Both classes in this area — one Feb. 18 at Wightman’s Specialty Woods in Portlandville and another Feb. 20 at a spot in Schoharie County — are filled but interested people are encouraged to call NYCAMH for further information.

The classes, conducted by Bill Lindloff’s ProCuts of Endicott, will present Game of Logging training. They are limited to 10 participants because it’s a hand-on class, senior research coordinator at NYCAMH Erika Scott said. It covers such topics as chainsaw maintenance, proper protective equipment and the basics of the open-faced notch, the safest technique, she said. The program is widely recognized as a leader in logging safety, she said, and 56 people were trained last year.

It fits with the agency’s mission of enhancing agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury and illness, she said.

If there’s enough interest for additional classes, the agency could seek grants. The current program is funded by grants from the state Department of Health.

“I’d like to have it as a routine part of our service,” she said.

Logging is one of the most dangerous industries in the country, and the classes offer hands-on training to anyone interested in learning the safety techniques for cutting, research assistant Samantha Parks said.

“We are hoping that offering this class will allow people who already log their own land to learn some safety precautions and practice safer habits,” she said.

Information about NYCAMH and this and other programs can be found at www.nycamh.org. NYCAMH can be reached by phone at 800-343-7527, or email at info@nycamh.org. A “Logging Safety Field Guide,” developed by New York State Department of Health is available at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/3132/3132.pdf.