Working in the NH lumber industry can be a lucrative business, but working in these areas can also be quite hazardous. The lumber industry experiences a much higher fatality rate than other industries due to the nature of the work and equipment used. It’s essential that all operators and employees in the lumber field follow safety procedures. It is also important that owners make sure they develop a lumber insurance program designed to meet their specific needs to keep the business on track and growing.
Here are 7 Safety Tips for those working within the Lumber Industry:
- Employees should wear proper safety gear at all times. This may include hard hats, steel-toed boots, and gloves. Eye and ear protection are necessary for employees who are cutting lumber.
- Employees should be thoroughly trained before undertaking any new task, especially when operating equipment such as saws and forklifts. Training should be repeated at least annually as even the most seasoned employee needs to keep his or her skills up-to-date.
- Forklifts can pose a particular danger. Forklift operators should be on the lookout for pedestrians and keep all other personnel away from the forklift when in operation. Safety procedures, such as closing off adjacent rows during loading, can help reduce the risk of accidents.
- OSHA requires forklift operators undergo specific training. You should adhere to all of OSHA’s guidelines on safe forklift operation and repeat training as needed. Bedford and other New Hampshire towns may also impose training requirements, so be sure to check with your local authorities.
- Heavy loads should not be lifted by one individual. A safe load is considered to be a maximum of 50 lbs. per person. Before lifting, ensure the path is free of any debris.
- Before stacking lumber, remove all nails. Inspect the stacking sight for stability to ensure racks are level and stable enough to support the load. Know the maximum load that can be supported prior to loading and never exceed this limit. The ground underneath should be firm, and excess water drained away.
- Wood stacked by hand should not exceed 16 feet. When using forklifts or other equipment, the maximum height should be 20 feet.
5 Types of Coverage for your NH Lumber Insurance program:
Despite taking safety precautions, accidents can happen. Injury to employees or customers must be responded to promptly, so they do not interfere with the continuation of your business. New Hampshire requires that business owners carry workers compensation insurance, which is especially important in a risky business like working with lumber. Additionally, lumber yards could suffer catastrophic damage in case of fire. This fire could also spread to adjacent buildings and businesses, significantly impacting the community.
To properly protect your lumber yard, you should have at least these types of insurance included in your insurance package:
- Property insurance
- General liability
- Workers compensation
- Umbrella insurance
- Inland marine insurance
As lumber presents unique risks, you should consider an insurance program that can address such needs. The specifics of these coverages can be found on the HPM NH Lumber Insurance page on the HPM website.
With proper safety precautions, many accidents and injuries can be prevented. However, not everything is within your control and incidents may still occur which can be very costly for your NH Lumber business. Make sure to work with an insurance professional, like HPM Insurance of Bedford and Amherst, which understands the nuances of the lumber industry and work with you to protect your business and employees
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to the insurance policy.