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Forest Contractors Welcome Expert Review Team

Following the announcement earlier today of the start of the Forest Industry Workplace Safety Review process, the original architects of the review say they are pleased with the makeup of the review team.

“It was our executive board that first raised concerns with the corporate forest managers back in March 2013” says Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) spokesman John Stulen, “so we are pleased to see that a very strong and completely independent team of experienced safety professionals has been engaged to carry out the work."

“We’ve worked closely with the Forest Owners Association and union leaders to ensure that a robust process was put in place.

The time we have taken to set up this up and ensure the review is impartial will give piece of mind to everyone.

All workers in our industry and their families can be assured they can speak frankly and openly and expect to have their concerns heard."

“Few people outside the woods will be aware that business in our New Zealand forest industry has been brisk.

It’s been counter-­cyclical to the global financial crisis,” said Mr Stulen, “So log exports have been booming as China and Asia has taken more and more wood each year for the past four."

Much of the growth in forest harvesting has also come in woodlots growing in farm forestry blocks.

A particular spike in production came in the summer in 2013.

The spike in logging of woodlots came at the same time as a temporary cut in ACC injury prevention spending.

However, that drought has ended so it is time to look forward to getting people to be forthcoming about speaking to the review team members so they can get the best possible insight to identifying a way forward.

ENDS

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