Injury Smart

Spotlight on injury prevention in the forestry sector

ACC has begun work on developing a new injury prevention programme aimed at encouraging safer practices in the forestry sector.

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It’s a joint approach, with the programme being developed and implemented in collaboration with WorkSafe New Zealand, the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA), the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) and the Council of Trade Unions.

Forestry workers Wiremu Edmonds and Neil Thomas will be the worker representatives in the new injury prevention programme.

Both are experienced forestry workers and passionate, experienced health and safety advocates – and in Wiremu’s case, his passion is strengthened by the personal tragedy of having lost a son to the industry.

Figures show that, in the past 18 months, the safety record of New Zealand’s forestry industry has lagged behind those of other New Zealand industries, as well as forestry sectors globally. Recent fatalities, 11 since January 2013, have highlighted ongoing safety concerns.

ACC’s head of Insurance Products and Injury Prevention, David Simpson, says the new initiative represented a concerted, collaborative approach by key sector players to address the concerns.

The programme will involve eight separate streams of work, aimed at developing clearer, effective guides for workers on the ground, to influence them to make safer choices in their day-to-day actions.

Likely outputs of the programme include workshops and educational resources, such as assessment tools, videos and case studies, designed to address the range of tasks and situations that workers face on the job.

It’s intended to complement the independent review of forestry safety, launched in January by FICA and FOA, which will address a broader palette of issues affecting safety in the sector.

“ACC’s programme will focus on how we can help workers and employers to make safer decisions, minute by minute, on the job. The FICA and FOA review may address these factors, but it’s also likely to explore bigger-picture issues such as how the sector is organised, how compliance is enforced and more,” says David.

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June 2014 Newsletter

Published 06/06/2014

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