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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has created an initiative to address the high cost of workers compensation insurance for logging contractors in the state, his office announced Tuesday.
The Vermont Logger Safety and Workers Compensation Insurance Program, which was developed collaboratively by the state’s Department of Financial Regulation, Department of Labor and Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, will focus on modernizing safety training for logging contractors and their employers in an effort to reduce injuries and insurance claims, and enable companies to qualify for reduced workers comp insurance rates, according to the governor’s office.
The program will seek input from logging safety trainers and the Boca Raton-based National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc., said the release, and includes state funding to increase access to affordable safety training that’s tailored to the hazards of the logging industry.
The governor’s office said that employers and managers will have access to workshops throughout 2019 that provide leadership and communications training as well as current trends in losses and injuries related to logging. The state has also committed to providing onsite loss prevention consultants to verify that proper safety practices have been implemented by participating logging operations, the release said.
In addition, the state will provide new guidance to landowners and consulting foresters to ensure that they are contracting with properly insured companies, according to the release.
An Illinois employer has been cited by federal workplace safety regulators after an employee died from blunt force trauma due to a falling tree.