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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Logging Contractors in Sweden: A Survey on Personnel Absenteeism, Safety Measures and Economic Impacts

Kronholm, Thomas


Forestry contractors perform the majority of forestry work in Sweden. Many contractors have small financial margins and may therefore be sensitive to disturbances. Recent years have been extraordinary due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the objective of this study was to clarify how Swedish logging contractors were affected by it. In 2022, a survey was sent to 1175 companies registered to perform logging, and finally, the responses of 205 contractors were analyzed. The results show that 32% of the contractors experienced a higher absence of personnel during the pandemic. A correlation between the number of employees and the degree to which the company suffered from personnel absenteeism was identified. The majority of contractors implemented safety measures to reduce the risk of infection, usually concerning personal hygiene and social contacts in the workplace. At the time of the study, 51% of the logging contractors perceived that their financial situation was worse than before the pandemic, with those primarily engaged in logging having been hit harder than those with a more varied range of services. The study concludes that, overall, the contractors seem to have handled the pandemic quite well, but high fuel prices and inflation pose major challenges to their finances.


wood harvesting contractors; logging contractors; work safety COVID-19; profitability

Published in

2023, Volume: 14, number: 11, article number: 2173