Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Forestry Sectors “One Trick Pony” won't end workplace toll

22 August 2012

Forestry Sectors “One Trick Pony” insufficient to end workplace toll

With a death toll 34 times higher than the UK and wages ranking 4th lowest of 12 comparator countries Forestry contractors and owners would be better not off not defending their workplaces as safe but instead telling the New Zealand public how they intend to stop the carnage, CTU President Helen Kelly said today.

In an oversensitive reaction to her criticism that despite massive drug testing programmes forestry had failed to stop the tragic run of death and injury in the sector, Forest Industry Contractors Association have come back claiming that the forestry industry is far more safety-conscious than most any sector in the country despite having the highest accident incident rate in New Zealand and a dreadful rate when compared to international safety statistics.

“While drug testing is important to ensure those working are not impaired and the decrease in drug use in the industry is recognised, the industry promote it as a one trick pony and need to take into account all the other things that must be addressed to ensure the number of deaths reduce. These include ensuring hours worked are reasonable, all staff are trained and represented by trained health and safety representatives, proper breaks are provided, safety standards are kept up to date, wages are sufficient to retain senior experienced staff, dangerous work areas are especially carefully managed, and contractors are carefully regulated to ensure they meet standards”, Helen Kelly said.

“The industry is continually providing excuses and it is time everyone demanded better. It is up to them to sort this out. There have been three deaths for example in the Wharerata Forest in the last 18 months with strong Coroner recommendations being made at least in regards to one of them. Most of the labour is contracted with Forestry Owners taking the benefits of that labour but avoiding the reciprocal obligations that would be created through an employment relationship. The response when challenged about a death is often to blame the nature of the industry but the fact other countries are doing so much better means this excuse is weak. Employers that recognised they have a problem would not assert high safety standards when the record so blatantly speaks for itself. This denial is part of the problem.”

There have been 30 deaths in NZ forests in the last 6 years with at least 4 this year alone. Everyone has been quiet and complicit on health and safety issues in this country and the CTU will not be silenced by industry representatives who do not want to change.

Background information

The death rate in the UK forestry industry is 10.4 per 100,000 workers and in NZ is 343 per 100,000.

Approximately 7000 workers work in the industry in NZ. About 14,000 workers work in the industry in the UK.

2006 labour cost comparisons found NZ has some of the lowest hourly compensation rates for the Forestry Industry paying at least a third less than comparator countries such as Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, Australia, Canada, USA, Japan with only Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea paying less within the study.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding “No.” Political debates have little effect on voter behaviour, let alone on election outcomes. Crucially, the limited effect they do have does not involve a change in voters’ policy preferences... More>>

 

National Agriculture Policy: Will Restore Farmer Confidence And Pride

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future. Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today. “Agriculture ... More>>

ALSO:

Shaw: Wealth Tax Not A Bottom Line For Green Party But They Will Push For It

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines. More>>

ALSO:

Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels