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Forestry show NZ way to better safety

Forestry show NZ way to better safety

February 1, 2016

A sharp drop in forestry deaths and serious injuries after a massive safety overhaul in 2014 shows what can be achieved when an industry joins together to make improvements, the Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum says.

The fall is welcome and sets an example for other industries to follow, says Forum Executive Director Francois Barton.

"Forestry has shown us some of the things that need to be done to bring down high fatality and serious injury rates in an industry," Francois says.

"After 10 forestry workers died on the job in 2013 the industry set up an independent inquiry to identify what was going wrong and how to fix it.

"The Independent Forestry Safety Review recommended sweeping changes, including stronger leadership from forestry executives, clearer standards and regulations, better worker participationand better training. Investment in safer equipment has also helped save lives.”

WorkSafe data reportedly shows a drop to three forestry deaths in 2015 from 10 in 2013. The number of serious accidents also dropped to 79 - about half the number in 2013.

"That's still three deaths and 79 serious accidents too many. So the job’s far from done, and there is still plenty of work for the industry and regulator to do. But the trend is going in the right direction."


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