Training has always been important in forestry. But as the industry matures, the type of training that’s needed is expanding. We have a strong focus on ‘training for task’ and ensuring people achieve the right unit standards. Skills training will always be essential. But experience shows us that it’s not sufficient to keep people safe in dynamic workplaces like forestry sites, where no two days are the same.
We need additional training to develop other skills in our workforce. That includes skills like the ability to make good decisions, to function well in teams, and to adapt to new technology and work practices. Investing in building a workforce with a broader range of skills and competencies is essential for forestry to flourish.
That’s why Safetree has worked with the industry and The Learning Wave to develop three frontline leadership courses. These courses are for crews, foremen, and health and safety reps. They were piloted in 2018 with great success and now we are offering them across the sector. I’d encourage you to find out more about these courses, and how they could help you.
Last year FICA, FISC, Transpower and other power companies met to talk about working safely around powerlines. Those conversations led to the creation of a guide for forestry contractors, along with a handy risk management plan. These resources have had input from FICA, Electricity Networks Association, Electricity Engineers’ Association, Transpower, Scanpower, Powerco and Unison. We’re keen for contractors to make use of them, and to let us know if you have any ideas on how to improve them. If you are working around powerlines make contact with the owner of the lines early to discuss safe working options.
FISC and FICA are running a series of regional workshops for crew owners, managers and foremen. The sessions will provide information about contractor certification. There will also be information about our frontline leadership courses, and tips on improving tailgate meetings. Thanks to EWC for hosting the first one in Gisborne. The others are running in Nelson, Whangarei, Palmerston North, Balclutha, Rotorua and Masterton.
We’re looking forward to our first Safetree Conference next week, being run with FICA. Our guest speaker is Sir John Kirwan. Other speakers include safety culture expert Dr Hillary Bennett, Connetics CEO Jono Brent and Daniel Hummerdal from WorkSafe NZ. If you haven’t registered for the conference but would like to attend email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can squeeze you in.
Here are some tips from our tailgate meeting cards on setting up and running a safe skid site.