Forestry sector organisations have joined forces to back an
independent review of safety in the industry.
Last week, in a joint announcement, sector representatives
said a three-member independent panel would conduct the
review into the high number of serious and fatal injuries in
the forestry industry.
Forest Owners' Association past-president Bill McCallum said
the present rate of serious injury and death was ''simply not
''We are committed to creating an industry where all our
people go home safely at the end of each day, and we are
hopeful that the independent panel will shine a light on
practical solutions to help us achieve this.''
The forestry industry made an important contribution to New
Zealand, providing jobs and export earnings and helping lift
economic growth, he said.
It had taken time to find the right panellists, and get
support and agreement on the terms of reference but the
foundations for the review were now in place, he said.
No aspect of the industry's operations would be out of
''Panel members can talk to anyone and seek whatever expert
advice and analysis they need.
''We are asking all employers and workers in the industry to
give them their full co-operation. Individuals who want to
have an input are strongly encouraged to do so.
''They will be looking at our workplace cultures, our
existing safety programmes and training, the activities of
Worksafe NZ and ACC, worker involvement and engagement, and
the unique structure of the industry, with its reliance on
contractors to do most harvesting,'' Mr McCallum said.
The panel's job was to uncover the underlying factors that
were resulting in workers being harmed and to recommend
practical measures to significantly improve the situation, he
The panel members are business leader George Adams,
employment health and safety lawyer Hazel Armstrong and
business safety specialist Mike Cosman.
It will have its first meeting next week, in Wellington. The
appointments and the terms of reference have been endorsed by
forestry industry organisations, ACC, relevant government
agencies, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and the
Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum.
It is funded by the Forest Owners, Forest Industry
Contractors and Farm Forestry Associations, with
administrative support and other resources provided by the
Government's health and safety regulator, WorkSafe New
The review is expected to take six months.