Certified contractor register launched; Free safety culture workshop; New forestry apprenticeships; Working on steep slopes

This post includes a new blog that shares insights we’re hearing from industry. It also covers the new register for certified contractors; a free workshop on safety culture; new flexible forestry apprenticeships; and guidance on working on steep slopes.

Fiona’s blog: Focus on critical risks

Increasingly I’m hearing from forestry businesses that they understand the importance of focusing on critical risks – the risks that can kill people or cause them life-changing harm.
In forestry the main critical risks are well known:

  • Tree felling
  • Breaking out / extraction
  • Driving vehicles
  • Processing on the skid site
  • Maintenance.

The best way to prevent serious incidents is to focus on controlling these critical risks, and on monitoring to make sure the controls are working like they’re meant to.

Critical risks are also important when it comes to reviewing near miss or injury reports. Not all incidents/injuries are equal and deserve the same level of investigation. There’s more to be gained from investigating the ones with the highest potential to kill or permanently harm people.

These investigations will be most useful if they take a ‘learning review’ approach. That’s a focus on speaking to everyone that was involved in the incident and also ‘sense-checking’ this with other crews that do the same work. This is often a more open discussion because these other crews weren’t directly involved in the incident. There’s information about how to run a learning review on Safetree.

It’s really important that any lessons from these reviews are shared with the crews face-to-face at tail-gate and start up meetings. If you think the lessons are particularly useful then let us know and we’ll share it with the industry via Safetree. We’re looking at changes to the IRIS (Incident Recording Information System) to help with capturing information on near misses / hits related to critical risk areas.

See more about Learning Reviews


Fiona Ewing is National Safety Director for the Forest Industry Safety Council, which runs Safetree.

Register of certified contractors launched

The register of Safetree Certified Contractors has been launched.

This register lists all the certified contractors, including their contract details and regions where they operate. The register is searchable – so you can locate contractors that do particular activities, including silviculture, harvesting, and other activities like transport.

Currently, there are eight contractors on the register. But this is likely to grow quickly as another 116 contractors are currently going through the certification process.

See the register

Find out more about certification

Growing our Safety Culture: Free workshop 7 May Wellington

Registrations are now open for this free workshop to find out about Safetree’s new Growing our Safety Culture programme.

This programme helps forestry businesses find out what’s really going on with health and safety within their teams.

We had great feedback from the companies that took part in a pilot of this programme last year. One company, Timberlands, has decided to put all its teams through it – everyone from the crews to its board of directors.

The workshop runs from 10am to 3pm on 7th May at the Straterra Boardroom, 2nd floor, 93 The Terrace, Wellington.

RSVP to jackie.delaney@fisc.org.nz

More flexible forestry harvesting apprenticeships launched

Competenz has launched new forestry harvesting apprenticeship programmes that offer better flexibility. They also come under the government’s ‘fees free’ policy so apprentices can check if they are eligible for two year’s free training. This could possibly reduce costs significantly for employers.

Read more on the Competenz website

Steep slope risk assessment form

Forestry operations are often carried out on steep slopes, which can be dangerous if the risks aren’t controlled. This form helps you assess the risks and decide what management steps to take.

Read the Steep Slope Risk Assessment Form

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