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Forestry fatality – industry performance must improve

Hon Simon Bridges
Minister of Labour

27 November 2013

Forestry fatality – industry performance must improve

News of the eighth forestry workplace fatality this year is a tragedy for the worker’s family, his colleagues and the whole industry says Labour Minister Simon Bridges.

“There’ll be a devastated family in the central North Island who have lost a loved one and I extend my deepest condolences to them,” Mr Bridges says.

“The number of fatalities in the forestry sector is too high and the safety record is not acceptable – the industry needs to get its safety house in order.

“There is no lack of understanding about what the main problems are, or what the solutions might be.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is nearly half way through a proactive programme of assessing cable logging contracting operations throughout the country (330 operations).

“Of the 150 operations visited so far, they’ve issued 182 enforcement actions and shut down 14 because there was imminent danger of serious injury or death. This is not good enough.

“It is simply not possible for the Government to install an inspector in every workplace in New Zealand.

“Those who own the forests, those who run the crews in the forests, those who train the workers, those who represent the workers, and the workers themselves have to join the regulator in taking strong, effective, lifesaving action.

“Safety in this industry now is about everyone who is part of it stepping up to ensure the right things are happening consistently on the hill and taking responsibility for supporting every decision on the hill to be a safe one,” Mr Bridges says.


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