14 May 2012

Forestry industry welcomes workplace safety focus

7:26 am on 14 May 2012

The forest industry says a stronger government focus on workplace safety will underpin its own work to keep reducing the accident rate.

The Government has announced $37 million extra funding for workplace health and safety improvement.

The Forest Owners Association's health and safety committee chair Sheldon Drummond says that has come at an ideal time.

He says the industry has reduced its accident and fatality rates, despite a bigger log harvest and it's aiming to keep the momentum going with a safety culture initiative, now underway.

Mr Drummond says initiatives like the drug and alcohol free workplace policy have been very successful.

He says the industry is working with a number of agencies including ACC and the Department of Labour to introduce a safety culture and leadership programme which is designed to get people on the job thinking about safety, to ensure a culture of safety.

Mr Drummond says the forest operations code of practice has been completely revised.

The industry is also reviewing its best practice and training guidelines and has introduced certification for some high-risk jobs.