It’s now a month since forestry went back to work and the signs are looking good that the Covid-19 virus has stayed under control. It has been great to see the industry working together to develop and implement the industry protocols for working safety under Covid-19.
Forestry was one of the first industries to develop Covid-19 protocols and I’ve had positive feedback about how they have been implemented. I’ve had feedback about the great maturity shown by contractors, and others in the supply chain, who have had to modify the way they work in order to put these protocols into place. Their willingness to adopt the protocols has helped protect their people, and their businesses, from the threat of Covid-19.
It is also good to see that the focus on managing Covid-19 hasn’t distracted people from also managing the other critical risks present in forestry. Thanks again to everyone who helped create the Covid-19 protocols, and to everyone who put them in place and then followed them.
Gearing up for planting season
With planting season about to start, it’s a good time to remind silviculture foremen and crews about critical risk controls and important ways to protect crew wellbeing. Driving is a critical risk for everyone in forestry, particularly at this time of year when there can be frost on the roads and people will be driving when it’s dark.
Safe driving practices are essential. So, remind crews that on all roads and tracks they should have the right vehicle for the job, drive on the left, wear a seatbelt and drive to the conditions. They should also take breaks or change drivers to manage fatigue.
Wearing the right gear is also essential at this time of year. Remind crews to bring extra layers in case the weather changes, to eat well and to watch out for hypothermia in their mates.
Latest quarterly IRIS report
The IRIS report for the three months ended 31 March 2020 shows the number of lost time injuries declined during the quarter, likely due to less harvesting activity.
The total incident frequency rate declined in the last quarter of 2019 and continued to decrease into 2020. However, severity (average days lost per lost time injury) trended upwards from October 2019. The first quarter of 2020 saw a very small rise suggesting that, although there were fewer events, injuries suffered were a little more serious.
The critical risk area with the highest number of incidents was felling, followed by ladder pruning. Seven of the 13 felling incidents occurred in thinning to waste operations. The single most common injury (7) was being cut by the chainsaw or by sticks or sharp vegetation. Of the 10 ladder pruning incidents, there were 6 lost time injuries resulting in a total of 38 days lost.
Interest in free leadership courses?
Are you interested in putting your people through Safetree’s leadership courses for crew foremen, crew and health and safety reps? These courses are specifically designed for forestry. They support the development of people, and help businesses improve team performance. We currently have funding to offer a limited number of these courses for free. If you would like to take advantage of this offer please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safetree dashboard delayed
We will not publish a Safetree dashboard for the March 2020 quarter. Instead, the next dashboard will cover the six months to June 2020. This is due to a delay in the data being provided to WorkSafe as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.