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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Characterization of Swedish forestry contractors’ practices regarding occupational safety and health management

Kronholm, Thomas; Olsson, Rikard; Thyrel, Mikael; Häggström, Carola

Abstract

Forestry has many dangers, and much effort has been put into supporting accident prevention by developing legislation and certification systems. In Sweden, forestry contractors have an important role in developing and maintaining a good working environment for the employed forestry workers. The objectives of this study were to describe forestry contractors’ current practices regarding occupational safety and health (OSH) management and identify variations in relation to the contractors’ characteristics and finances, as well as to highlight areas that need improvement. In 2023, data were collected through a survey distributed to 1200 limited liability companies registered to perform logging or silvicultural services, with a response rate of 22%. Multi- and univariate analyses were performed to compare contractor groups, and the results show that larger companies had more well-developed and formalized routines and guidelines for their operations. Geographical differences were also identified; for example, employees in the north were more likely to have access to staff facilities when working in the forest. However, no clear connection between OSH management practices and the contractors’ finances could be demonstrated. The study concludes that there is a need for improvements in OSH work within the industry because many companies do not meet all of the formal requirements that exist today.

Keywords

working environment; safety; injury prevention; logging contractor; silvicultural contractor

Published in

Forests
2024, Volume: 15, number: 3, article number: 545