19 Feb 2014

Foresters get a say in safety

8:39 am on 19 February 2014

Forestry workers are to have a bigger voice in accident prevention in the sector.

The ACC steering committee that directs injury prevention work in the forest industry is being expanded to include two worker representatives, one each from the North and South Islands.

the death of a Maori forestry worker could have been avoided.

the death of a Maori forestry worker could have been avoided. Photo: PHOTO NZ (file)

They'll join representatives of forest owners, farm foresters, contractors and the Council of Trade Unions on the committee.

It coincides with the launch of an independent safety review to lower the appalling accident rate in the industry, where there were 10 deaths and 150 serious injuries last year.

Forest Contractors chief executive John Stulen says the appointment of worker representatives to the ACC committee is another way for their voices to be heard, at a national level.

The sector had a lot of scientific research, but the two new recruits from the workplace will play important roles in terms of transferring such technology to the real world.

In some cases, they may be able to provide insight into what approaches will or won't work.

Mr Stulen says nominations for the two worker representatives close at the end of this month and there will be a vote next month.