Emergency drills, subsidies for Worker Cert, Mike Hurring forestry school

The importance of practicing your emergency procedures was highlighted by the recent experience of Grimmer Contracting. When the Northland contractor did an emergency drill it discovered that the crew couldn’t communicate with the rescue helicopter pilot over the radio.

The helicopter’s radio wasn’t programmed to any of the channels used by the crew, and the crew didn’t have any of the channels used by the rescue helicopter.

Ka pai to Grimmer Contracting for practising its emergency procedures. This is something all forestry crews should do a couple of times a year.

Grimmer Contracting’s experience shows why it’s so important to test your procedures – so you can uncover, and fix, any issues before a real emergency happens. Running drills helps you keep your procedures up to date, and means everyone knows what to do to get help quickly if someone gets hurt.

Thanks to Grimmer Contracting for coming to us about their issue with radio channels. We’re looking into it. We’re keen to hear about your experiences too. How do forestry businesses in your region make sure they can communicate by radio with rescue helicopters?

In the meantime, below is information from Safetree’s Emergency Response Plan Tailgate card. Please share this information with crew members and make sure you are regularly practising your procedures.

Joe Akari, CEO Safetree/FISC

Emergency Response Plan

A good emergency response plan can stop an accident becoming a fatality. Here are some things the plan should cover:

Be able to communicate quickly to get help

  • Charge radios and phones each night and regularly test locator beacon batteries.
  • Know where you’re working – be able to give the road names and GPS coordinates in ‘degrees decimal minutes’.
  • Have one person controlling communications with emergency services.

Be prepared to give first aid before emergency services arrive

  • Keep first aid skills up to date and kits well stocked. Check equipment regularly.
  • Be prepared to drive out by road if a helicopter can’t get in.
  • Have enough vehicles available to get everyone out safely if you need to leave in a hurry (eg, before weather closes the road).

Know what to do in an emergency

  • Treat emergency drills like the real thing – these should be held at least twice a year.
  • Have a back-up plan – always think about what you would do if you couldn’t follow the emergency plan.
  • Make sure someone meets the ambulance at the forest gate to direct them to the emergency.

Print the Emergency Response Plan tailgate card and share it with crew

Subsidy available for Worker Certification

We have secured $50,000 of funding to subsidise the cost for Safetree Certified Contractors paying for their workers to achieve treefalling or breaking-out worker certification / recertification. Worker Certification is a great way to raise the competency of your crew and invest in their safety.

We are working through the details on how we can best deliver this funding to Safetree Certified Contractors. If you are interested in upskilling your treefallers or breaker-outs to become Safetree Certified or recertified please express your interest.

Click to register your interest 

Featured Safetree Certified Contractor – Mike Hurring’s forestry training school

A shortage of skilled machine operators motivated contractor Mike Hurring to open his own training school in Balclutha. The school runs 5 week machine operator courses that cover the book work, training on simulators and real machines, and visits to other crews to watch experienced operators in action. The school’s goal is to make sure that students graduate with the skills to make them better, safer and more productive operators.

Watch the video 

Campaign to remind small-lot owners to notify WorkSafe of forestry operations

WorkSafe is running a campaign in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region to remind farmers and small-lot forestry owners of the need to notify it about tree felling and harvesting operations. WorkSafe is reminding farmers and small-lot operators that if they are felling trees themselves, having trees felled or are planning logging operations on their properties, they must notify WorkSafe at least 24 hours before work beings. There are fines of up to $50,000 for failing to notify WorkSafe.

To notify WorkSafe visit its website. 

Latest IRIS information

See the latest IRIS report for the third quarter of 2022 (July – September). The report shows that lost time injuries trended downward between April and September 2022. As in previous quarters, medical treatment injuries fluctuated widely. The total incident frequency rate (TIFR) remained static during the quarter after a steady decline in the second half of 2021. Severity (average days lost per lost time injury) increased slightly after a long-term trend of increasing to May 2022. The lost time injury frequency rate (lost time injuries per million hours worked) remained steady through the July – September quarter.

Read the report 

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