It’s nearly the end of 2021 and what a rollercoaster of a year it’s been!
We’ve had Covid-19, major weather events, another downturn in log prices and we’ve had three fatalities – which means another three families that won’t have their loved ones with them at Christmas.
The volatile world of forestry’s certainly not for everyone. Maybe that’s why we’ve got so many great people working in forestry – because they love a challenge.
So, I want to give a shout-out to all of you who have supported us this year – particularly in the review of Safetree Certification and having our Toroawhi come onto your sites so they can help the crews.
I’m looking forward to working with you next year, particularly in the roll-out of the revamped Certification. Next year you’ll hear us talk a lot about ‘good work’ and what that actually looks like. We think this new approach to health and safety makes a lot of sense, and we think you will too.
We know a compliance approach turns a lot of people off and isn’t delivering the results we want. We believe a better approach is to focus on planning and designing the work well. And involving the people who do the work, the on-the-ground experts.
So, in 2022 you’ll hear us talk more about designing for safety, including how forest owners and managers can work with their contractors to do this.
We’ve also got some great stories to tell you – including the two below about how Forest Protection Services is benefiting from the good ideas of its workers, and how Stirling Logging is helping workers recover from drug problems and get back to work in the forest.
Until then, I hope the holidays give you a chance to relax and reconnect with friends and whānau. For those of you whose personal circumstances mean Christmas isn’t an easy time, take care of yourselves and I hope you get the chance to do some things you enjoy.
So, from me and all the team at Safetree, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and we look forward to working with you again in 2022.
Stirling Logging: Rehabilitating workers and getting them back into the forest
Gisborne contractors Gavin and Chrystal Edmonds are helping forestry workers recover from drug problems and get back to work in the forest. Difficulties accessing rehabilitation support for workers prompted the couple, who run Stirling Logging, to start bringing workers into their own home to help them recover. Gavin and Chrystal say they’re motivated by a desire to help workers who want to change – who they consider to be good people who’ve made bad choices. They also say forestry can’t afford to lose experienced workers to drugs when there is such a shortage of skilled workers.
FPS: Business benefits of improving worker engagement – a Safe-Start 2022 Resource
When Forest Protection Services director Kevin Ihaka talked to his workers about setting up a Health and Safety Committee, initially no one wanted to be involved because they saw it as a compliance role. But they like the idea of having a place where they could come together and discuss issues. So, they began to meet, but quickly realised that their discussions were going way beyond core health and safety, to include things like how they organise the work, what training was needed and even who had a cousin who was looking for a job. So, they decided to expand the group to become a leadership and consultation Forum. Kevin says the business benefits of setting up the group have been huge. He now knows much more about what’s actually going on in his business, and issues can be surfaced and dealt with before they turn into problems.
This video and written story make a great Safe-Start 2022 resource. Look at them with your workmates and crews, and discuss how you could do something similar in your organisation.