The effect of spiked boots on logger safety, productivity and workload

Appl Ergon. 1994 Apr;25(2):106-10. doi: 10.1016/0003-6870(94)90072-8.


Analysis of 1657 lost-time logging accidents in the New Zealand logging industry (1985-1991) indicates that 17.5% were as a result of slips, trips and falls and a total of 2870 days were lost. Most (56%) of these slipping, tripping and falling accidents occurred in the felling and delimbing phase of the logging operation, where 37% of the workforce are employed. In an attempt to reduce the number of slipping injuries to loggers employed in felling and delimbing, a study of the effectiveness of spike-soled (caulk) boots was undertaken. Four loggers were intensively observed at work, by continuous time-study methods, while wearing their conventional rubber-soled boots and then spike-soled boots. The number of slips, work methods used, physiological workload and productivity were compared for loggers wearing the two footwear types. Results indicated that spike-soled boots were associated with a significant reduction in the frequency of slips and had no adverse effect on work methods, physiological workload or productivity. Spike-soled boots are now being promoted for use by loggers in New Zealand as a simple method to reduce slipping, tripping and falling accidents.