AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine in late May completed its annual Spring Logger and Fleet Safety Training series, providing training over the course of three months to more than 800 loggers and truckers throughout the state of Maine for the first time using online classes that combined pre-recorded presentations with live Zoom discussions with instructors and fellow employees.
Reaching employees of more than 100 companies throughout Maine, the scale of the training – normally provided at more than a dozen all-day events held across Maine – was unprecedented for the PLC, which successfully undertook aggressive efforts over the past year to maintain critical programs, charitable fund-raisers, and member benefits such as the Safety Training Series despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The success of this training approach was due to extraordinary efforts on the part of our instructors, staff, and partners after it became clear early this year that the pandemic would not allow us to hold our traditional spring events,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the PLC, said. “To quickly create quality online training based upon a series of complex topics and coordinate that process with instructors and employers scattered across the state while simultaneously handling promotion, registration, and the live delivery of the finished product was a monumental challenge for all, but everyone rose to the occasion and with the support of our generous sponsors we exceeded our expectations.”
In many cases employees of logging and trucking companies viewed the trainings in socially distanced groups at their garages, where they could discuss the topics with their fellow workers. Many companies felt the convenience and added participation of this feature of the trainings was a plus. An additional benefit of the online approach was the creation of content which will continue to have value as safety resources to logging and trucking businesses going forward.
Logger training topics included saw safety, chemical handling, fall protection, hot work, bolt torquing, and drugs you carry. Fleet topics included wheel and hub safety, truck inspection, fault vs. preventability, and wheel-off training. Additional training on CPR/First Aid/Bloodborne Pathogens and Online Driving Dynamics was also available.
Sponsors for the training series included Acadia Insurance, Cross Insurance, Nortrax, Barry Equipment, Chalmers Logging Insurance, Farm Credit East, MEMIC, Maine Trailer, Manac, United Insurance, Hale Trailer, the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety, Traction Heavy Duty, and Sappi.