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Out of the 100 serious forestry incidents for 2013, 10% have been fatal.
In November this year (2013) New Zealand saw two forestry deaths in one week bringing the total to nine for the year.
A 28-year-old man was killed in a logging accident in Nelson – the ninth forestry death this year and the second this week.
The death follows that of 63-year-old Murupara man David Charles Beamsley, who was killed in a forestry incident on Tuesday.
“It is an outrage that three men have been killed at work this week, two of them forestry workers.”
The forestry industry would face some tough questions from health and safety regulators following the death of a man in a logging accident today, Labour Minister Simon Bridges says.
Days before Xmas – New forestry fatality takes 2013 death toll to 10
A man aged in his 20s was killed by a falling tree while working on a forestry block in rural Horowhenua this morning.
“A tree has come down on top of him.”
Men are overwhelmingly represented in workplace deaths. Our right to life, a safe work environment, a reasonable living and to return home to our families at the end of the day is a basic requirement – it’s not negotiable – again and again this is not being respected.
Forestry Worker Deaths for 2012 (5)
27/11/2012 Forestry 24 M Pahiatua
Attempted to fell a tree, it has become hung up on another tree; the initial tree has come free and fallen on him.
26/06/2012 Forestry 49 M Bay of Plenty
Hauler logging clear-fell operation, tree felling, Tree feller struck by a large falling branch during a tree felling operation.
26/06/2012 Forestry 44 M Whareongaonga Forest
Deceased and three other workers were breaking out from a stack of logs when the logs rolled crushing deceased.
11/04/2012 Forestry 33 M Wanganui
Felling tree, tree split in half, bottom section slid back onto feller.
6/03/2012 Forestry 38 M Atiamuri
Deceased hit in the neck area with hauler rope whilst freeing snag.
Source: http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/research/health-and-safety-data/workplace-fatalities-2012 (Last updated 13 December 2013)
As the year draws to a close with 10 work place deaths in the forestry industry for 2013 – that is double last year – surely we must be asking how and why this could be happening?
“There’s a mother not home for Christmas.”
The year has started disastrously for the forestry industry with a worker killed in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, and another seriously injured near Whakatane.
News from WorkSafe tasked with cleaning up the industry
“We have identified an alarming rate of safety non-compliance amongst cable logging operators – nearly half of the 162 we’ve visited weren’t operating in compliance with the industry code and we had to take 203 enforcement actions to force those operators to comply,” de Rooy said.
“We had to shut 15 of them down they were so dangerous.
“We are so concerned at this level of unsafe practice that we have sought meetings with individual forest owners to make very clear to them that they have significant responsibilities,” de Rooy said.
“We will want to see their safety plans for the contractor crews demonstrate active management of safety standards. If they are deficient, we will be holding them to account.
“The issues that are becoming apparent lead us to conclude that there are deeply ingrained systemic issues in this industry.