Let’s talk about drugs in forestry

I heard a great story the other day about the way one contractor is helping to manage the risk of impairment from alcohol and other drugs at work.

I was talking to a Safetree auditor about how Safetree is revising the industry’s alcohol and drugs code of practice, and he told me about a simple – but effective – way one contractor checks his crew are fit to work.

When everyone arrives on site in the morning, he greets them with a hongi. The main reason he does this is cultural. But the contractor says it also means he has a good idea of what they’ve been smoking or drinking that morning. It’s one way he can confirm they’re fit for work.

Safetree is keen to gather more stories about the ways people are dealing with the risks posed by alcohol and other drugs. The includes what they are doing in the areas of prevention, monitoring, and rehabilitation.

We’d like you to tell us your stories – what you’re doing, what works best for you and your biggest challenges. Hearing your stories – good and bad – will help us understand what’s needed to ensure the revised code helps manage the risk of impairment from alcohol and other drugs in forestry workplaces.

You can see one of these stories below – how Gisborne-based Forestry Solutions Group is rehabilitating people and getting them back to work in forestry and forestry-related businesses.

Send us your feedback and stories in confidence by 24 June to: john.lowe@fisc.org.nz

John Lowe
(Acting) National Safety Director

Helping workers recover from addiction: Forestry Solutions Group’s story

When Joe* failed a random drug test one Monday he expected to lose his contract. But his client Forestry Solutions Group offered him an alternative – sign up to a programme that offered him support to get clean, while undergoing regular drug testing, and would allow him to keep his contract. The programme included access to support and counselling, and trips with other recovering addicts that offered a different way to have fun. It provided a way to get better – while staying employed.

Watch the video 

*Not his real name

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