Summary Forestry Sector Action Plan 2010-13
The Forestry Sector Action Plan sets out specific actions to reduce the rate of injury and fatality at work (‘the work toll’). It aligns with the projects identified in the New Zealand Forest Owners Association’s safety strategy and has a specific focus on the tasks of tree felling and breaking out.
The Action Plan has been prepared by the Department of Labour in partnership with the Accident Compensation Corporation and the New Zealand Forest Owners Association’s Health, Safety and Training Committee. It provides a purposeful rallying point for government agencies and the forestry sector to:
- build shared leadership and ownership of the problems and solutions
- agree on key priorities for action, and
- co-ordinate and integrate activity.
In Three Years
In the next three years we want to see:
- A statistically significant reduction in forestry injuries and fatalities
- Effective programmes in place to support this reduction
- Reliable health and safety data and better access to it
- Partnerships with government and industry improving health and safety in the forestry sector
- Actions being completed on time and achieving their intended outcomes.
Everyone must contribute
- Government agencies
- The Workplace Health and Safety Council
- Maori businesses and Iwi leaders
- Pacific businesses and community leaders
- Forestry workers
- Industry associations and groups
- Business and sector leaders
- Small businesses
- Health and safety representatives
- Industry training organisations
The Government cannot achieve the outcomes of the Forestry Sector Action Plan alone. Making a real difference to the work toll requires commitment from all parties.
A Pledge has been developed so that stakeholders willing to do their part to reduce New Zealand’s work toll can become Partners in Action with the Department of Labour. The Department is the lead agency of the Forestry Sector Action Plan.
It’s simple to sign up – visit www.dol.govt.nz/whss to pledge your commitment. In return, you’ll be kept in the loop about workplace health and safety activities and you’ll be recognised on the Department’s website.
Monitoring and Review
The Department of Labour will monitor the progress of the Forestry Sector Action Plan to ensure actions are completed on schedule and meet their aims.
The Department of Labour will report annually on the progress of highlevel indicators for health and safety across all sectors from 2011 in an annual State of Workplace Health and Safety Report. The Forestry Sector Action plan will be reviewed and updated in 2014.
Work with the forestry sector will be delivered under the four action areas outlined in the National Action Agenda 2010 – 2013
- Growing safety leadership
- Developing capability
- Building knowledge
- Supporting robust health and safety systems
1 Growing safety leadership
Building national sector engagement
This initiative aims to maintain strong and effective working relationships between key forestry stakeholders. Engagement will focus on: reducing accidents, particularly in the tasks of breaking out and tree felling; › using forestry networks to influence improvement; and promoting safe work design.
Promoting the Partners in Action Pledge
The purpose of the Pledge is to promote and seek forestry stakeholder commitment to work towards zero harm and to acknowledge the key role stakeholders play in reducing the forestry work toll.
Carrying out the FOA strategic safety plan 2009-2011
The safety plan has three project areas:
- Safety culture and leadership
- Rationalisation and clarification of work standards (simplification) and
- Fair and clear enforcement.
2 Developing capability
Delivering effective training for tree felling and breaking out
FITEC will work with key forestry sector stakeholders, including New Zealand Qualification Agency (NZQA), to increase the availability and uptake of recognised training and education. The aim is to improve health and safety practises relating to the tasks of tree felling and breaking out.
Trialling a breaking out certification process
ACC and Nelson Forests Ltd are trialling a breaking out certification process with Nelson Forests, Blakely Pacific and PF Olsen crews. The trial will be testing a tool developed to measure compliance with the approved codes of practice (ACoP) and training achievement.
Providing accessible information for small businesses
The aim is for small businesses in forestry to become better enabled to manage their health and safety risks. This will help them to make sure they are aware of the key actions they need to take, and know where to access advice to help them comply with their health and safety obligations even if they are not formally aligned with sector organisations.
3 Building knowledge
Establishing clear safety standards for safe tree felling and breaking out
This initiative aims to continually review and improve the content of health and safety standards, guidance, tools and information so that clear and simple guidance is readily available and accessible to businesses and workers in the forestry sector.
Sharpening our data collection and dissemination in priority sectors
This project seeks to expand and integrate data sources to improve the quality of forestry accident data and to enable forestry stakeholders to adjust and better target intervention strategies. This will provide the opportunity to analyse the specific problems and trends within the forestry sector.
Reviewing the Incident Reporting Information System (IRIS)
In 2005, the NZ Forest Owners Association launched IRIS. The objectives of IRIS are to facilitate injury prevention analysis, promote safety improvement initiatives and monitor their effectiveness. IRIS also allows the industry and individual companies to confidentially, quickly and effectively benchmark their health and safety performance against industry averages and other sectors. This information has been successfully used to refine and reinforce safe work practices in the industry.
4 Supporting robust health and safety systems
Delivering effective and efficient interventions
This initiative aims to stimulate a reduction in injuries across all activities, including tree felling and breaking out. Interventions planned or to be continued include:
- Safe Start breakfasts
- ‘Growing our Safety Culture’ assessments
- the breaking out / certification process
- the Department of Labour’s education and enforcement programme for tree felling and breaking out.
Delivering the Department of Labour’s education and enforcement programme for tree felling and breaking out
The Department of Labour’s aim is to reduce the injury and fatality rates relating to the tasks of tree felling and breaking out. A steering group has been established to focus specifically on best practice safe health and safety processes and procedures for the tasks of tree felling and breaking out.
Review and update approved codes of practice (ACoP), best practice guidelines (BPG), and standards
These projects aim to review and update key guidance and codes of practice for the forestry sector. As part of these projects the ACoP for forestry operations (which now includes rivers and heli-logging) and the ACoP for tree work and arboriculture are being reviewed and edited in conjunction with key sector stakeholders. Best practice guidance on how compliance can be achieved will be progressively updated.
Other initiatives to reduce the forestry work toll
- ACC experience rating
- NZFOA drugs and alcohol code of practice for eliminating drugs and alcohol from the workplace
- Farm forestry initiative, risk assessment tool
- Top Spot Programme
- ‘Growing our Safety Culture’ project
- Safe start breakfasts.
Forestry Sector’s Work Toll
- The fatal injury rate for the forestry sector is the highest of all the five priority sectors
- 55% of forestry fatalities recorded by the Department of Labour between 1988 and 2005 were attributed to the tasks of tree felling or breaking out
- Sector and the Department of Labour data identifies tree felling and breaking out are the main tasks contributing to serious harm accidents
- Injury severity rates have increased from an average of approximately 10 days per lost time injury in 2006 to approximately 16 days in 2008
- Between July 2008 and June 2010, ACC forestry sector entitlement claims reduced 13% to 318. Over the same period log harvest volumes have increased 10%. While significant progress has been made these claims still cost more than $2.3 million.
Copies of the Forestry Sector Action Plan and the National Action Agenda 2010 -2013 can be found on the Department of Labour’s website at www.dol.govt.nz
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