Promoting safety, business and environmental awareness, the North Carolina Forestry Association’s (NCFA) ProLogger Program was established in 1994 with the goal of ensuring loggers across the state be properly trained and stay out of harm’s way.
“In 1993, North Carolina suffered 13 logger fatalities,” says Chris Brown, NCFA senior director of communications. “Even one fatality is too many, and we realized something needed to change. That’s why we created this professional logger training program.”
Since its inception, more than 4,000 loggers have completed the program’s base course, which includes two days of classroom instruction and a day of field training, with both portions led by the NCFA and partners such as Forestry Mutual Insurance Co., the North Carolina Department of Labor and the North Carolina Forest Service.
ProLoggers seeking to maintain their certification must attend an annual three-hour course that provides up-to-date information on appropriate environmental and safety topics as well as the newest standards set by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Typically, about 1,600 ProLoggers successfully fulfill this requirement each year.
“Every logging crew needs at least one ProLogger-trained individual to deliver timber to a company affiliated with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative,” Brown says.
Anthony Andrews, who owns Anthony B. Andrews Logging Inc., and has been a ProLogger since 1996, is a firm believer in the program. Named the National Outstanding Logger and the Southeastern Region Outstanding Logger by the Forest Resources Association in 2014, Andrews speaks to ProLogger trainees during base courses, and his sons are ProLoggers.
Andrews says the program continues to help his logging teams stay safe and remain aware of environmental sustainability practices.
“I make sure all of my trucks have a ProLogger Safety Checklist Booklet,” Andrews says. “It’s a valuable resource to have on hand, and it includes information about personal protective equipment, truck driver safety, bloodborne pathogen exposure and much more.”