Mechanical harvesting has transformed some forestry operations, greatly reducing risks to manual fallers and breakers out. However, harvesting on steep slopes creates different risks. So, at the industry’s request, over the past year we’ve been working with a broad group of experts and industry people to create a New Zealand Winch-Assisted Harvesting Good Practice Guide. The guide will set a benchmark for winch-assisted harvesting on steep slopes.

We are now seeking industry feedback on the draft guide before it is finalised in the first quarter of next year. This includes your feedback on the relevance, understandability and completeness of the content. We’d also like your thought on which parts of the guide should be turned into laminated fact-sheets that can be kept in machine cabs or site sheds, and the best ways to distribute it. The guide covers a wide range of topics related to winch-assisted harvesting, so it is quite long. But it will be divided into chapters so people can just read or download the parts relevant to them.

It was developed by a working group that included several industry representatives, WorkSafe, and machinery manufacturers. It has been reviewed by several contractors to get their feedback, along with a forestry expert at Canterbury University, Professor Rien Visser. We’d like your feedback on the guide by 28 February 2022.

Send feedback to Or call John Lowe on 021 164 8036


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