New tree-faller game, five-step felling plan, conference with John Kirwan, focus areas for 2019

Fiona’s blog – focus areas for 2019

Late last year we held a joint WorkSafe/FISC summit, where people from the industry identified issues that have an impact on health and safety in forestry. They also identified who was best placed to deal with these issues. I’d like to share their findings with you, as these will be a focus area for FISC/Safetree’s work in 2019.

  1. ‘Safety in design’: A handful of issues that can be loosely labelled ‘safety in design’ were identified as being the responsibility of forest owners/managers. These included forest infrastructure (roading and skid sites), harvest planning (including equipment selection), considering mechanisation on a small scale.
  2. Safety culture: We have already launched the Safetree Growing our Safety Culture programme. We will continue to promote, and report on, this initiative which enables companies to engage with their people, assess their existing culture, and implement improvement plans.
  3. Health: Building on our Dr Tom health roadshows last year, we will work to develop a health risk assessment for forestry workers. We will also look at how Dr Tom’s KYND health monitoring mobile app (downloaded by many attendees at the roadshow) can be further used to improve the health of forestry workers.
  4. Worker engagement: We will continue the work of the Worker Engagement Technical Action Group and we will set up a tree-fallers’ group to give crews a stronger voice in planning industry harm-prevention activities. We will also run a workshop for forestry workers on steep slope harvesting.

Thanks for your support in 2018 and I look forward to working with you this year.

Test your skills with the Safetree tree-faller game

Getting ready for Safetree worker certification just got easier with the launch of the Safetree tree-faller game. This online and mobile app game can be used to test whether a tree-faller is ready to be assessed for certification.

The game has four levels and only very experienced fallers can make it through the fourth level. You need to register to use the game (to stop hackers, Safetree won’t track your results) or companies/trainers can register workers so they have access to their workers’ results.

This is a great way to get ready for certification – or just to test your tree-falling knowledge.

See the demo
Register to get the game
See more about worker certification

John Kirwan speaks at Safetree Conference

Registrations are open for the Safetree Conference on 13-14 March in Christchurch, being held in conjunction with FICA. The focus will be on successful work and lifting capability. Conference speakers will talk about ways to achieve this.

The guest speaker will be Sir John Kirwan, former NZ All Black and rugby union coach. Sir John is also a passionate advocate for improving mental health, particularly for those suffering from depression.

Other speakers include Jono Brent, CEO Connetics, and Daniel Hummerdal, Chief Advisor Health & Safety Innovation WorkSafe. They will talk about innovative approaches to health and safety. Dr Hillary Bennett, Director of Leading Safety, will talk about leadership and culture. There will be workshops on running a lean business with Glenn Manahi from Smarter, Better, Faster, and on leading and communicating at tailgate meetings with Andy Smith from training experts, the Learning Wave.

There will also be a trade display where people can check out forestry products and equipment. Early bird registrations have been extended until 22 January.

See more or register

The 5-step felling plan

With everyone coming back to work after the holidays, now could be a great time to re-enforce some good practices at tailgate meetings. To help with that, here’s a summary of the 5-step felling plan from Safetree’s tailgate meeting resources.

5-step felling plan

Step 1: Assess the site

  • Assess the stand for hazards – the terrain, roads, tracks, other operations, powerlines.
  • Wind strength and direction – will it affect safety?

Step 2: Assess the tree

  • Any defects? Rotting wood, heavy lean, interlocked branches, debris in branches, dead tops.
  • Soil very wet or dry? Could that affect stability?
  • Falling direction? What could the tree hit as it falls? Which way will you escape?
  • Decide which cuts to use.

Step 3: Prepare work area and escape route

  • Clear around the base of the tree – leave no vegetation or obstacles.
  • Plan your escape route – ideally 45 degrees behind the tree.

Step 4: Use the correct felling techniques

  • Over 200mm at the stump? Always use a scarf and back cut.
  • Work out the lean. How many wedges do you need? Need machine assistance?

Step 5: Retreat and look up!

  • Finish cut on the safe side of the tree. Use your escape route as soon as the tree begins to fall.
  • Watch out for kick back, butt swing or bounce, anything falling or being flicked back.
  • Don’t walk directly behind the tree.

If anything looks unsafe, stop felling, reassess, and consider getting help.

See the five-step felling plan tailgate factsheet
See other tree-falling resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *