Forestry industry must remain vigilant about health and safety

WorkSafe New Zealand says the latest forestry death in Hawkes Bay is a sad reminder to the industry of the need to remain vigilant about health and safety.

Monday’s death follows three earlier confirmed forestry fatalities so far this year, and is the second death in the Pohakura Forest.

“It is obviously concerning to see two deaths in the one forest within a matter of months. Any deaths are a tragedy for family, friends and co-workers and the wider community,” says WorkSafe’s chief executive Gordon MacDonald.

WorkSafe is investigating both deaths in the Pohakura Forest.

“Obviously we cannot pre-judge the outcome of our investigations, but I can assure the families that WorkSafe will do all that it can to determine what went wrong.

“WorkSafe inspectors have been to the scene of this week’s incident and will meet with the deceased man’s family in due course.”

WorkSafe continues to have a strong focus on forestry safety. In the 2015/16 financial year WorkSafe inspectors made a total of 775 forestry assessment visits and issued 578 enforcement notices.

“WorkSafe has worked closely with the forestry industry and workers groups over the last few years to lift standards in the industry and real progress has been made – but this reinforces the point that there is no room for complacency,” says Gordon MacDonald.

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