volume: 34, issue: 2
volume: 39, issue: 2
This paper discusses the key issues of forestry workers training in Croatia, especially dealing
with the providers of vocational training, their profile, training procedures and measures
necessary for training improvement. A combined approach of literature review, internet search
and questionnaire of training providers was applied in order to collect data on training programs
conducted in Croatia. The research was conducted during 2016, and it included 94
legal entities authorized for occupational safety training in the Republic of Croatia, with respect
to safe working practice training and vocational training for operating machinery (chainsaw
and/or skidder). The analysis used basic descriptive statistics.
Research results showed that 30.85% of the analyzed legal entities provide only training for
safe working practice, 15.96% provide both trainings – safe work practice and vocational
training for operating machinery, 5.32% of the analyzed entities provide only vocational
training for operating machinery, 31.91% do not carry out any form of training in forestry,
while 15.96% refused to answer questions. On the other hand, 15.56% of the legal entities,
which do not carry out any training or did not answer these questions, have on their official
website services posted for vocational training in operating machinery (chainsaw and/or skidder).
The key findings of the conducted research have pointed out the great heterogeneity
amongst providers of forestry workers training, and certain reductions or limitations in the
current training programs, both from the aspect of duration of the theoretical and practical
training, and the use of non-transparent criteria and standards in the assessment of training.
As an example of successful solution in forestry workers training, European Chainsaw Standard
model (ECS) is shortly presented in the paper. Discussion and conclusion sections provide
an overview of legislative and organizational requirements for the application of previously
developed European model (ECS) in developing the certification system for training of forestry
workers in Croatia.
volume: 44, issue:
Motor-manual felling and wood processing is a high-risk work process where the chainsaw, in connection to other variables in the working environment, is a key and constant source of risk and danger for forest chainsaw operators. Pursuant to the foregoing, the purpose of this research is to investigate and compare detected musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptoms among the chainsaw workers in Croatia according to their employer (state company – Hrvatske šume Ltd. or private forestry contractor) and self-evaluated Workability Index. A combined three-stage research method was used: (a) defining a sample; (b) preparation and administration of questionnaire; and (c) data analysis and elaboration. The Standardized Nordic Questionnaire (SNQ) was used as a medium to detect musculoskeletal disorder symptoms in chainsaw operators and the Workability Index (WAI) questionnaire was used as a medium for workability self-evaluation. The field part of face-to-face data collection was conducted in the first quarter of 2022 with a total of 158 sampled workers interviewed directly at the forest worksite. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used to verify and analyze the data. The anatomical area with the highest 12-month period prevalence of MSD symptoms for all chainsaw operators is the low back (70.89%), followed by the shoulders (41.14%), neck (39.87%) and wrist/hands (36.71%). Research results, according to the employer, showed that workers employed by Hrvatske šume Ltd. have a higher prevalence of MSD symptoms in almost all anatomical locations compared to chainsaw operators employed by private forest contractors. Mean WAI Score among all respondents was 34.96 points (max. 49) falling into the rank »moderate«, while the current workability compared with the lifetime best was 7.33 (range 0–10). The results of MSD symptoms confirm the self-estimated higher values related to health problems caused by forestry work and lower WAI Score by workers employed in the state forestry sector compared to workers employed in private forestry sector. The prevalence of MSD symptoms, observed through WAI Score, showed a significantly lower percentage of affirmative responses for all anatomical regions except for shoulders in workers who need to maintain their workability. The obtained results show positive correlation with descriptive indicators, where younger workers with less chainsaw work experience have a lower prevalence of MSD symptoms and better WAI Score. In the discussion and conclusion part of the research in question, the need for development of possible solutions is emphasized. The proposed solutions can be included into educational programs or on-site training related to the MSD risks for professional chainsaw workers to change their behaviour that will reduce occupational risks.