Worksafe must learn lessons - forestry Industry cannot self-regulate
“The CTU does not support Worksafe’s submission to the independent Forestry Review Panel that there can be an “industry led” approach to addressing the serious issues workers in the sector are facing.” CTU President, Helen Kelly said.
“We believe Worksafe should learn by experience of its predecessors where industry led initiatives have not worked. In March 2011 MBIE developed a number of Sector Action Plans in our most dangerous industries (Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Manufacturing and Fishing). They ran until 2013 and were intended to result in a significant reduction in injuries in these sectors. They were industry driven in industries that had shown a lack of capacity to deal with the safety issues. Four of these had an “industry lead” Safety Council structure with only manufacturing having worker representation. In forestry the FOA health and safety committee took on this role. In construction a specific Construction Safety Council was the lead industry body and similarly in Agriculture (Agriculture Health and Safety Council). In Fishing, Maritime NZ took a different approach and led the Safety Council initiative (Fishsafe) The only industry where serious harm injuries notably reduced was fishing. In others the figures increased.” Kelly said.
“It is imperative that the Forestry Review Panel recommend that Worksafe is established as regulator and that the Forest Expert Advisory Group is put in place to provide advice.” Kelly said.