Meet some of the contractors harvesting windthrow from Cyclone Gabrielle

Joe’s blog

You will no doubt be aware of the recent recommendations from the ministerial inquiry into land use, associated with the mobilisation of woody debris and sediment in Tairāwhiti/Gisborne District and Wairoa District. These recommendations are still being considered by Forest Management companies and others in forestry, and we are yet to see how the industry will respond.

My interest is that any changes resulting from the recommendations have the safety of workers as a primary consideration. Safety and wellbeing should be at the heart of any management of change process. For example, it’s essential that we understand, and account for, the safety implications of recovery and removal of woody debris from catchments. We also need to understand, and account for, the safety implications of any transition to staged coupe harvesting.

Retention of the skilled forestry workforce is also an issue in these affected areas, as extreme weather and market conditions are resulting in some of our experienced people relocating or leaving the sector. Market conditions, including lower log prices, have also led to some contractors having production targets reduced to levels that make it difficult for them to break-even. Some have even gone bust or left the industry as a result.

This is having an impact on both the wellbeing and job security of workers, and the financial sustainability of businesses. These accumulating environmental and economic challenges undermine the long-term sustainability of the forestry industry. When coming up with ways to tackle them we need to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of forestry workers is also protected.

Joe Akari, CEO, Safetree / FISC

Featured Certified Contractors: Flight Logging & Lakeland Cable Logging

What’s it like to harvest widespread windthrow caused by Cyclone Gabrielle? Crew owners and operators from Flight Logging and Lakeland Cable Logging talk about their experiences in these short videos. This includes the additional risks they encounter and how they manage them. The crews are operating in the Central North Island, near Turangi, in forests badly damaged by high winds during the cyclones.

Watch the videos

What’s a great way to motivate workers? Say ‘well done’

According to psychologists, we do what we do because of the consequences. People who are praised or rewarded for a particular behaviour are far more likely to repeat it. That’s why recognising people for working in a safe, healthy way is a great way to reinforce these behaviours and improve health and safety at work. For ideas on how to recognise and motivate safe work, see this fact sheet from Safetree’s Safety Culture initiative.

Growing our Safety Culture – Recognition

Winter is coming – time to check your emergency plan is up to date

Things don’t go wrong in forestry often. But when they do, the injuries people suffer can be life threatening. Getting help fast can be the difference between life and death. That means all forestry businesses need to have an emergency plan. They need to regularly update the plan for changes in circumstances and to regularly test it to ensure everyone knows what to do to get help. Below are some emergency planning resources from the Safetree website. Check them out and share with crews and others who might find them useful.

•            Emergency Plan: A form to help you create an emergency plan

•            Tailgate card: Fact sheet on emergency plans with reminders of key points

•            Video about First Aid for forestry

Winner of Safetree sponsored award

We were proud to sponsor a special award for Health and Safety at the 2023 Southern North Island Wood Council Forestry Awards. Congratulations to Nik Bradnock, 2023 Health and Safety: Exceptional Qualities Champion! Nik was presented with the award by John Lowe from Safetree.

Injury data: IRIS report for Jan-Mar 2023

The latest IRIS injury report for the three months to March 2023 shows that, after falling last year, lost time injury numbers climbed to a peak in March 2023. The total incident frequency rate has risen since September 2022. Severity (average days lost per lost time injury) has shown a steady decreasing trend to March 2023 after a long-term trend of increasing to May 2022. The IRIS data is compiled by SCION from injury data provided by a number of forestry companies.

See the full report

Safetree at Fieldays

Safetree will once again be part of the Forestry Hub at Fieldays Mystery Creek, 14-17 June. This is an opportunity for us to promote our initiatives to support safety and wellbeing in forestry within the wider forestry community. This includes highlighting the benefits to farm foresters of using Safetree Certified Contractors. If you are attending this exhibition, come and visit us at the Forestry Hub.

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