For decades, workers in Vermont’s forest economy have experienced prohibitively high workers’ compensation insurance rates for logging contractors, creating a significant barrier to employment growth in the sector and leading to more people working alone, and uninsured, in one of the state’s most dangerous occupations.
On April 1st, 2019, Governor Scott’s Forest Economy Task Force introduced two new occupational class codes in the workers’ compensation insurance system: “Safety Certified Mechanized Logger” and “Safety Certified Non-Mechanized Logger” and the requisite, occupation-specific training for logging contractors and their supervisors to meet the “safety certified” standard. Employers whose employees meet the training standards and demonstrate that they have implemented safe practices at their logging operations, through an onsite consultation and verification with a Loss Prevention Specialist, will be qualified to have their employees classified under these new class codes and eligible for a 15% discount on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums. For more information on the background and development of this program, click here.
Loggers and landowners alike should explore the resources below to learn how to be active participants in this program.
Photos courtesy of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Erica Housekeeper