What is a Faller?
A faller is a logging worker, part of an industry that harvests millions of trees each year around the world. Throughout history the profession was known as the lumberjack and the image of a burly man in chainsaw boots, checkered flannel shirt and suspenders forms part of legend and popular culture. Lumberjacks were heros in folklore and fairy tales, such as Paul Bunyan and Little Red Riding Hood, and there are many lumberjack songs in early American and traditional Irish and Scottish music. In the past the lumberjack did dangerous and primitive work, but had the reputation of being exceptionally strong, masculine, and able to confront any kind of danger.
Without fallers we would have no raw materials to make wood products that are so important to our construction industry and our daily lives. Although the work is repetitious, falling trees by hand involves a high degree of specialized skill and concentration, and a commitment to make safety part of every work day. Logging has a reputation as being hazardous, but recent technological advancements have reduced many of the risks. In addition to chainsaws, feller-buncher operators, for example, use machines that are like backhoes to cut trees at the base and pile them up. Although the profession has traditionally been restricted to men, many women are now becoming fallers.
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