We are operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 Alert Level Three restrictions. Please only call our 0800 number if someone is at serious risk of harm or has been seriously injured, become seriously ill, or died as a result of work.
For other notifications please complete our online forms at Notify WorkSafe.
The forestry sector is one of our four priority sectors due to the high incidence of injuries and fatalities. We have had a dedicated Forestry Programme since 2010. The programme requested that Research and Evaluation carry out formative research to provide evidence to inform a review of the current focus and the development of future initiatives.
The research employed a mixed-method approach which involved an analysis of SWIFT data to track injuries and fatalities in the sector since 2010 an analysis of attitudes and behaviours of workers and employers in forestry taken from the Health and Safety, Attitudes and Behaviours Survey (WorkSafe NZ) and the collection and analysis of primary qualitative data across five regions nationally.
The qualitative research involved face-to-face interviews with: managers of corporate forests, contractors working in corporate forests, and focus groups with crews. In addition, we interviewed owners of small-scale forests, contractors working in small-scale forestry and held focus groups with their crews. There were also face-to-face interviews with WorkSafe inspectors and assessment managers working in five regions.
There are 8 reports:
This report discusses changes to injury and fatality rates, particularly since 2013, before analysing how changes came about and what drove these. It considers the role that forestry owners, contractors, crews, unions and WorkSafe played in bringing about improved practice on the ground, and discusses what could be improved in the future.
This report looks at the differences and similarities between two of forestry’s subsectors – silviculture and harvesting. The two subsectors are viewed as being distinct groups, with silviculture receiving significantly less focus than harvesting. However, it was evident that whilst there are difference, there are also many similarities in the health and safety issues for the two groups, and with silviculture often being a pathway to harvesting for workers – a focus on silviculture is warranted in the future.
This report discusses the forestry sector’s early response to the new Act. The research took place in the first six months of the change in legislation, which limits the potential to observe changes in behaviour. However, it provides insight into the role the change in legislation has played in changes in the sector, and how workers and PCBUs are responding to the new requirements.
This report looks at the health risks associated with working in forestry, such as noise, vibration, musculoskeletal disorders, psychosocial issues, and fatigue. It then discusses how New Zealand forestry employers (both contractors and forest owners) address these, and where responses could be improved.
This report discusses the training and workforce development issues faced in forestry. In particular, it considers the recruitment and retention issues that New Zealand forestry is experiencing, and the implications of this for health and safety. It discusses the state of training in the sector, from the perspective of those in the industry and highlights what some corporate forestry owners are doing to address issues of quality of access.
Read our guidance on safety practice for forestry operations, tree felling near powerlines and our mobile plant assessment tool.Read more