WorkSafe supports forestry review findings
WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year.
“The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive, integrated action by all participants in the sector, including the regulator,” WorkSafe Chief Executive Gordon MacDonald says.
“The next step must lead to action to fix the industry’s ills, and WorkSafe will assist the establishment of the Forestry Leadership Action Group (FLAG) and work with it. The FLAG is the mechanism to develop practical solutions to the industry’s issues and the Review’s recommendations.
“I believe the FLAG should soon transform into an industry-led group as we proposed in our submission to the review. This industry must assume responsibility and accountability for its own health and safety improvement programme. WorkSafe will continue to work with FLAG and alongside the industry as it takes on this role,” says Mr MacDonald.
“WorkSafe believes that responsibility for managing risks in any environment lies with those who create the risks. We will actively participate in that process as well as continuing to hold to account those who needlessly create serious harm in the workplace.
“WorkSafe and other Government agencies have responsibility for legislative, regulatory and advisory and guidance matters. We will work with those agencies and the FLAG to determine how recommendations in these areas can be advanced. We will support the FLAG and industry as they develop responses to the Review recommendations which are for them to resolve,” he says.
“WorkSafe has already begun the development of a forestry-specific intervention approach which is directed at the five critical issues we identified in our submission to the Review: supply chain and production pressure; undervaluation of safety; industry competency deficits; poor safety culture; and insufficient investment in forest harvesting infrastructure.
“This work builds on our extensive assessment programme that has been operating since August last year. It will extend our interventions to a more sophisticated focus on underlying causes of poor risk management and harms which will complement our consideration of hazards and immediately evident problems,” says Mr MacDonald.