They say old habits die hard – and in forestry some old habits are putting people and businesses at risk unnecessarily.
There’s anecdotal evidence that many forestry businesses are still following a ‘hazard spotting’ approach to risks at work. That is, they identify hazards, write them up, and then get on with the job without discussing the controls needed to manage these risks.
The ‘new’ health and safety law passed in 2015 makes it clear that this approach is not enough, and businesses need to develop some new habits.
In particular, they need to look beyond ‘hazards’ (which tend to be physical things you can see in front of you) and instead think about ‘risks’ (which might not always be visible and can include things like fatigue or people not having the right skills to do the work).
Businesses also need to shift their focus from listing hazards in a register to setting up ways of working that control the risks to safety and wellbeing in an ongoing way.
This approach might sound like it takes more effort. But your workers will know some of the answers if you speak with them and get them involved in the process. Experience shows us engaging workers and improving the management of risk makes businesses more resilient, including protecting them from incidents that can hurt people and damage valuable equipment.
That’s why Safetree’s workshops this year are focusing on helping forestry businesses develop a deeper understanding of risk, and how it can be managed.
One thing that’s different about these workshops is that we run them with people across the contracting chain – including separate sessions for workers, crew owners/contractors and forest owners/managers.
That means people can talk about the risks they face and the controls they can put in place, and can identify the controls they need other people in the contracting chain to put in place.
We are also taking these free workshops to more remote areas where forestry businesses often operate. We ran the first ones in Te Araroa in East Cape in late March.
Feedback from the Te Araroa sessions was really positive, and included comments like:
• “This style of engagement and language is new to me and I really liked it.”
• “It really focussed my thinking on how I can better understand risk”.
• “Great new approach which was much more engaging than the usual conversation.”
• “Not the usual safety message!”
If you would like us to run these workshops in your region, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Jogging for Logging participants
Congratulations to the 30 forest industry professionals who participated in the Jogging for Logging relay from Gisborne Port to Tolaga Bay wharf recently. The 54km relay was organised by Safetree Toroawhi Wade Brunt and this is the third year it has taken place. The relay is the finale of a 10-week health camp run by Wade to promote health and wellbeing in forestry.
Congratulations to all the participants – particularly Breaker-Out Leroy Thompson of Waima Logging, who ran the whole 54km. See some of the proud participants at the finish line in the photo above.
Leadership workshops finalists at NZ H&S Awards
I’m excited to announce that Safetree’s Leadership Workshops have been nominated as a finalist at the 2021 New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards. The Awards recognise effective initiatives aimed at improving the safety and wellbeing of working New Zealanders. The Safetree workshops are a finalist in the Leadership category of the Awards. The winners will be announced on 1 June.
Safetree Conference – Save the Date
The 2021 Safetree Conference, Growing our Culture, will run in Queenstown on Thursday 28th October. The conference will be a great opportunity to learn and share with peers from the forestry industry. Information about registrations will be available later this year. In the meantime, save the date for this important industry event.
Safetree dashboard for 2020
The Safetree dashboard for 2020 shows a downward trend in injuries requiring more than a week off work. There were three fatalities during the year. Information from the dashboard and the IRIS system suggests forestry still needs to focus on managing well-known critical risks, including manual tree falling and machinery maintenance.