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Independent Forestry Safety Review commences

Independent Forestry Safety Review commences

The Independent Forestry Safety Review (the Review) was initiated because the frequency of serious injuries and fatalities in the forestry sector is unacceptably high. Its announcement has been widely supported by the sector and Government.

The Panel met for the first time today [Friday 14 February 2014]. The initial meeting provided the Panel members with an opportunity to come together and discuss their approach to delivering the Review. In summary, the Panel will work to:

• identify the factors that lead to injury and fatalities in the forestry sector

• recommend a package of practical measures that could reduce injuries and fatalities.

The Panel is expected to take an independent, broad and fresh approach.

The Panel recognises that there is a need for haste in undertaking this important work. There is also a need to be able to demonstrate a fair, independent and open process that stands up to scrutiny and seeks out a broad range of views. This includes consultation with those affected by serious injuries and fatalities in the forestry sector. The Panel will hold an initial stakeholder forum in March.

Further information about the Review will be made available as soon as the Panel is in a position to do so.

About the Independent Forestry Safety Review

The Independent Forestry Safety Review (the Review) was announced on 29th January 2014. Three Panel members were appointed; businessman George Adams, health and safety lawyer Hazel Armstrong and safety expert Mike Cosman.

The purpose of the Review is to identify the likely causes and contributing factors to the high rate of serious injuries and fatalities in the New Zealand forestry sector.

The Panel is expected to take an independent approach. It has a broad mandate and widespread support.

In undertaking the Review, the Panel will examine the health and safety structure and culture of the forestry sector. This will include reviewing health and safety education and training. It also intends to consult widely, including with those affected by serious injuries and fatalities in the forestry sector.

At the Review’s conclusion, the Panel will recommend a package of practical measures that would be expected to result in a significant reduction in the rate of serious injuries and fatalities in the forestry sector over the next 5 years.

ends

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