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Forestry workers urged to stay safe this summer

Media release

20 December 2012

Forestry workers urged to stay safe this summer

With a number of recent deaths in the forestry sector, workers, contractors and forest owners are being urged to make safety a priority this summer season.

The forestry sector has the highest rate of fatal work-related injuries in New Zealand and the rate of ACC claims for the forestry sector is almost six times the rate for all sectors.

“This is unacceptable - we need to do better when it comes to keeping our forestry workers safe,” says the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s General Manager of Health and Safety Operations, Ona de Rooy.

Earlier this month the Ministry launched the Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations – which introduces information about the dangerous task of breaking out. This activity, combined with tree felling, consistently accounts for the greatest number of serious harm accidents.

“Everyone in the industry needs to read and understand the new Code if we are to work towards reducing the work toll in this industry, which is New Zealand’s third largest export earner,” Ms de Rooy says.

“Work on the Code was led by a steering committee, with input from forestry workers, industry groups, ACC and the Ministry – to identify best practice standards in forestry health and safety.

Safe Start breakfasts are being hosted by forest owners across the country this summer to bring together workers, contractors and owners to understand the new Code and why health and safety must be a priority.

“We would encourage everyone in the industry to participate in these events, to understand the new code and how the new standards will contribute to keeping them safe at work.

“The new code aims to ‘lift the bar’ and introduce standards that will help the sector improve its health and safety record,” says Ms de Rooy.


Notes to Editor
• Find the Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations online at
• More information about health and safety in the forestry sector can be found at

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