This post includes a blog on Workers’ Memorial Day; a shout-out to our latest certified contractors; and links to safety alerts from WorkSafe. It includes links to useful resources to help improve leadership, risk management and worker involvement in health and safety.
Saturday April 28th is International Workers’ Memorial Day – a day to remember those killed at work. It’s fitting that people in forestry mark this day, given seven forestry workers died on the job last year. Many more have died in previous years. These deaths are a reminder that, while safety has improved in recent years, we’re still a long way from our goal of zero fatalities and life-changing injuries.
It’s timely to think about the things we need to focus on to create safe, healthy workplaces. FISC/Safetree and WorkSafe all agree these things are:
Fiona Ewing, National Safety Director, FISC ( Forest Industry Safety Council).
I’d highly recommend that anyone who uses contractors views this case study. In it, Transpower explains how it realised that the poor health and safety performance of its contractors was largely being caused by the commercial arrangements Transpower had put in place. These arrangements undermined contractors’ ability to invest in their businesses and people.
While Transpower doesn’t work in forestry, this case study is very relevant to any industry that relies heavily on contractors. It was done in partnership with the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum and is based on presentations Transpower gave at events run by the Forum and the FISC. It includes discussion questions to help people think about the way they work with contractors.
This video resource, also produced by the Forum, explains why Australian construction company Laing O’Rourke decided to abandon its goal of stopping all accidents, and to instead focus on managing its critical risks. The video also explains how the company is giving workers a greater say in deciding how risks will be managed. The video is about 20 minutes long and includes discussion questions. I’d highly recommend that everyone at least watches the first chapter, which is about 4 minutes long.
The Laing O’Rourke video talks about the business and safety benefits of involving workers in risk management. This is the principle behind Safetree’s new Growing our Safety Culture initiative. This initiative gives workers a ‘voice’ and ensures their concerns and ideas are heard. We’ve had great feedback about this initiative from the forestry companies that piloted it last year. For those wanting to find out more about it, we’re running a free workshop in Wellington on May 7.
Congratulations to Kevin Ihaka from FPS Forestry Ltd, the first silviculture contractor to become a Safetree Certified Contractor. Congratulations also to Kelvin Diack from Raywood Contracting Ltd, the first certified contractor in the Gisborne region. There are now 10 certified contractors listed on the register. The others are Forest Management Ltd; Gale Contracting Ltd; Mangoihe Logging Company Ltd; Mechanised Cable Harvesting Ltd; MJ Fraser Logging Ltd; Ocean View Logging Ltd; Olsen 80 Ltd; and Reed Contracting Nelson Ltd.
WorkSafe has posted two safety alerts relevant to forestry. It has also made available the detailed information it provides to its inspectors about tree felling near powerlines. See the links to these resources below.