Occupational safety indicators for forest operations, sawmilling and wood-based panels manufacture: An international benchmarking
Background: Given the lack of updated comparison to establish safety levels at where Chilean forestry and wood companies are facing with foreign competitors, a study of international statistical benchmarking was performed to find the rankings on occupational accidents and international excellence levels to achieve. Method: A survey was sent to 79 institutions and 96 contacts specialized in OHS from 37 countries to request data from years 2010 to 2012. The sample represented the workforce exposed to labor accidents that produces around 50% of roundwood and sawnwood, but 30% of wood-based panel globally. Results: The study reinforces that the most accurate, reliable and easy indicator to calculate, and also, to compare the accidentability, is fatal cases per million cubic meter harvested in the forest or processed in wood industries. Zero fatality was recorded only in some activities on forest operations (Belgium and Germany) and wood-based panels manufacture (Belgium, Finland, Italy, Lithuania and Sweden). Also, all countries improved their previous results on fatalities per 1 million m3 in the forest. Conclusions: Chile exhibits an intermediate international position for Fatality rate and Production v/s fatalities in forestry & logging, sawmilling and wood-based panels operations. There are no clear trends to build reliable rankings for Frequency rate, Severity rate, Production v/s nonfatal accidents and Production v/s lost time in wood processing. Also, to make obvious the impact of labor accidents in forest and wood products, the study provides updated data and proposes to establish comparative indicators for the occupational accidents footprint between companies and/or countries.