Forestry Sector Action Plan 2010-13
Appendix 2 - Fatalities
Over the past decade the forestry sector has put significant effort into reducing fatalities and serious injury. Despite this effort, injuries, fatalities, and social costs are still unacceptably high. The sector's challenge is to reinvigorate injury prevention and continue the drive towards zero harm and fatalities.
Between 2003 and 2008, the forestry sector had the highest rate of fatal work-related injuries. The rate of ACC claims for the forestry sector was almost six times the rate for all sectors (see figure 1).
Figure 1: ACC claims for fatal work-related injuries, averaged 2003–2008
Note: forestry and logging figures include farm forestry.
Figure 2: Fatalities recorded by the Department of Labour 1995–2008
Data sources: Analysis of Fatal Logging Accidents 1988 to 2005 – FICA Report October 2006 – Dept of Labour statistics (2008, 6 months to Dec) – NZ Forest Industry Facts & Figures 2007/08 (NB: Fatality data was analysed on the basis of a July to June year (for instance July 2003 to June 2004 was reported as 2003 data)).
Between 2005 and 2010 the industry wide injury database run by the Forest Owners Association (IRIS) recorded 18 fatalities. Tree felling and breaking out contributed 39% of these fatalities (see table 2).
|Year||Breaking Out||Tree Felling||Year Total|
Department of Labour data, although recorded differently and for a different purpose, confirms the forestry sector's findings that tree felling for processing or through clearing is one of the leading causes of forestry and logging fatalities.
Of the 35 forestry related fatalities the Department recorded between 2003 and 2010, 18 (51%) were related to tree felling and 2 (16%) were related to vegetation. The remaining 15 were each from other non-focus area tasks, e.g. log transporting.
The Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) did some analysis of fatal logging accidents between 1988 and 2005. The findings show that 55% of work related forestry sector fatalities occurred while tree felling or breaking out (see figure 3).
Of particular concern is the 12% of fatal accidents relating to extraction as there is a shortage of experienced haulers and there are a large number of steep terrain woodlots that will require harvesting over the next 10 years.
Figure 3: Causes of Fatalities 1988 to 2005
Further analysis of the causes of both tree felling and breaking out fatalities showed that 16 (41%) of the tree felling fatalities were identified as being caused by hang up or being hit by a tree or spar (see table 3). Six (46%) of the breaking out fatalities were found to be caused by being hit by either a stem during extraction or rope during lineshift (see table 4).
|Hang up / working in front of cut up tree||11||28%|
|Direction/Position (Description unclear)||9||23%|
|Hit by contacted tree/spar||5||13%|
|Retreat to incorrect position||4||10%|
|Hit by sailer||3||8%|
|Fell direction not anticipated||3||8%|
|Hit by tree felled by second party||2||5%|
|Hit by stem during extraction||3||23%|
|Hit by rope during lineshift||3||23%|
|Crushed by skidder||2||15%|
|Hit by stem during hook-on||1||8%|
|Crushed by tail hold||1||8%|