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Safety at Steigerwaldt: Weather Safety

Happy October, all! September went by like a blink of an eye, and here we are in the frosty mornings of October. October continues to bring all kinds of activities, such as hunting and festivals, to Wisconsin. It also brings with it a major change in our weather. During the month of October, we will see the weather go from mild to cold within a few weeks with the possibility of snow by the end of the month. These changes also bring active weather like wind, causing the leaves to finish falling and sometimes, causing trees or limbs to fall to the ground.

When foresters enter the field, they have to always keep their eyes and ears open for obstacles that may impact them. These obstacles may already be on the ground or could be actively falling. In general, Wisconsin is a windy state year-round, but during the fall season, the number of windy days can increase due to seasonal weather changes.

Each forester should be provided a hard hat and safety glasses for days when they are entering an active logging area when it is windy, or in an area that has lots of dead limbs and dead trees. The hard hat is used so that if a limb does fall from a tree and hits you, your head will have less impact from the object than if you were not wearing one. The hard hat can save you from a trip to the hospital or death. Safety glasses are used to protect your eyes from debris in the air, whether from an active logging area, spray from marking trees with paint, or from branches and buds during the winter that can poke you in the eye.

Each hard hat has an expiration date on it when it is no longer up to code due to the process of weathering and everyday wear and tear on it. The outdated hard hats should be replaced with new ones to keep foresters as safe as possible.

During the month of October, always check your surroundings and look up to keep an eye out for dangerous trees or limbs that could fall on you. Always bring your hard hat and safety glasses with you on windy days or when entering an active logging area. Lastly, a reminder to continue to wear bright colors in the woods as the hunting season continues throughout the rest of fall and into early winter.

Wishing you a safe and spooky October!

– Nate Loeffler, Forester