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Thu 19th December 2013

NZ Forestry Industry out of control?

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 9:10 am

If you have any information about unsafe logging procedures that are likely to cause death or injury to workers email me at downunder@outlook.co.nz

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.

Story here

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?

Compare this to the death of a woman

“There’s a mother not home for Christmas.”

Prison for farm worker who broke cows’ tails

2014 update

First forestry worker killed 16 days into the new year

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.

17 Responses to “NZ Forestry Industry out of control?”

  1. Its okay we don’t count for anything just “sperm donors” and providers that are expendable. NOT
    Just yesterday a school teacher friend of mine almost lost his home to a partner now an ex that had been in his life for less than 12 months and hes worked hard all his life because of stupid biased law.
    That’s also death. How sad things are.

  2. Downunder says:

    I think you’ve pointed out the other side of the coin here Dominique.

    What you are seeing is disruption at home caused by greed; woman wanting some easy money, at the expense of a hard working teacher. How is the man meant to do his job and teach children with this going on in his life?

    I see a similar issue rising in the forestry industry, where the industry is not maintaining a work force of graduated experience which gives a lot of protection to workers in dangerous jobs. This is not cost effective and better ways can be found to increase the bottom line; like many other industries line up a casual workforce and cut labour costs.

    This comes at the expense of lives, families and children.

    That’s the cost of feminism. Women can trash a man for whatever they want and so can industry.

  3. Downunder says:

    Surely ACC must be concerned about this:

    This is a tough industry where the work is hard and poorly paid and the safety record concerning: there have been eight deaths and 90 serious injuries in forestry this year, the most recent just last Monday when a man was trapped by a falling tree in Kaihu, Northland.

    Article: Why is forestry so deadly – Last updated 05:00 15/12/2013

    Out of the 100 serious forestry incidents for 2013, 10% have been fatal.

  4. Downunder says:

    There were also 188 serious-harm notifications last year – the highest number in five years.

    Here is an article on inspections of operations to date.

    Inspectors had so far assessed 150 operations, or about half the roughly 330 in New Zealand, Mr Bridges said.

    Of those, 14 were shut down because there was imminent danger of serious injury or death. That means 9.3 per cent had potentially fatal or injurious health and safety failings.

    Inspectors also issued 182 enforcement notices, suggesting more than one safety shortcoming was identified at some of the 150 operators.

    Did this death occur in an operation that had recently been assessed?

  5. Downunder says:

    The Forest Owners Association is defending itself following government criticism it is not taking responsibility for deaths in the industry.

    Forest Owners Association president Paul Nicholls disputes the view that the industry has all the answers and says it will launch a review of the industry next year.

    “For that review to be successful we’d like all the people that are currently out there criticising the industry to work with us to make sure that we can uncover the reasons for the accidents and what we can do better.”

    Mr Nicholls says the review beginning in February will look at hours of work and introducing safer technologies, but says the industry needs outside help to find solutions.

    What a statement from an industry leader – We don’t know what we are doing.

    Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/229404/forest-owners-criticised-over-worker-deaths

  6. Downunder says:

    “I understand they are now trying to locate the report but in the meantime I have received it from Shane’s widow. She is extremely upset to know that the report into Shane’s death has been ignored and she has real concerns that the Sector is not being properly monitored by the regulator,” said Helen Kelly.

    Source: CTU http://union.org.nz/news/2013/ministry%E2%80%99s-treatment-forest-death-shabby

    It has taken the Forest Owners Association all year to suggest that they might do something about it after Xmas;

    Mr Nicholls says the review beginning in February will look at hours of work and introducing safer technologies, but says the industry needs outside help to find solutions.

  7. Downunder says:

    Expect fewer forestry deaths!

    A tenth forestry death comes as the Government hardens its stance on safety in the sector.

    It’s recently taken two new prosecutions, and is ramping up site inspector numbers in the new agency, Worksafe New Zealand, which opened its doors this week.

    Labour Minister Simon Bridges says he expects to see fewer deaths as a result.

    “I’ll be very disappointed if there aren’t. We really are doing all the things possible to bring the toll down.

    “So I think we can be reasonably confident that the numbers will change.”

  8. Downunder says:

    Acting chief executive Geoffrey Podger said it was concerning that WorkSafe NZ had to deal with the 10th forestry death this year in only its first week of operation.

    Herald Story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11175056

    The sector has the nation’s highest rate of workplace injury deaths, according to the Chief Coroner’s office, with an average of five fatalities a year over the last six years.

  9. Downunder says:

    Forestry sector ‘not an industry in crisis’ – Key

    Of the 150 cable-logging operators visited as part of the audits so far, inspectors have issued 182 enforcement notices and shut down 14 operations because of imminent danger of injury or death.

    An average of 5 fatalities a year for 6 years equals 30 deaths forestry deaths. Mining deaths in the last 6 years equals 29.

    Justice Minister Judith Collins has been considering the introduction of a corporate manslaughter charge as recommended by the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety in its report issued earlier this year.

    Mr Key said yesterday it was off the table.

    Instead, forest managers had to take more responsibility and the Government was putting more onus on them through inspections carried out by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, he said.

    But a spokesman for Ms Collins said yesterday that she was still investigating the charge and awaiting advice on corporate liability and how those matters might be handled.

  10. Alastair says:

    Not an “Industry Crisis” Yeah Right!

    Does that have something to do with Almosr (If not ALL) the Fatalities and injuries were Male?

  11. Downunder says:

    16 days into the year and our first forestry fatality for the 2014

    A man has been killed in an accident in the Wairau Valley this morning.

    Ambulance officers pronounced the forestry worker deceased about 10.30am after the incident was reported to emergency services about 10am.

    If we continue at this rate the fatalities will definitely exceed the 10 reported in 2013.

    If you have any information about unsafe logging procedures that are likely to cause death or injury to workers email me at downunder@outlook.co.nz

  12. Downunder says:

    Boat sinking charges

    Although this doesn’t relate directly to the forestry post, forest owners have been warned they may face charges for not ensuring adequate safety management, which is what this case is about.

    The hearing for Gloria Davis, of Bluff, who faces charges relating to the Easy Rider sinking in Foveaux Strait, begins in the Invercargill District Court today.

    Davis, who was the partner of William Karetai, the skipper of the boat and one of eight people who died in the sinking, has been charged with three offences under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and two under the Maritime Transport Act.

  13. MurrayBacon says:

    A couple of years ago, I believe that I was poisoned by carbon monoxide at work. At the time, I didn’t realise the hazard that I was exposed to. When various carbon monoxide poisonings occurred and were reported in newspapers, I learned a few new issues to lookup and learn more.

    About 12 months later, I learned that the effects in terms of intoxication, continue to get worse even after removal from exposure. I had driven myself home, but at home, was barely able to walk or wobble inside and collapsed on lounge sofa. I wrote an unofficial complaint to my employer and copied to OSH. Neither ever replied, even just to acknowledge receipt of my letter.

    A couple of weeks back, I met someone with similar experience. He told me that by not arranging oxygen treatment, my employer had exposed me to a much higher risk of injury and also a longer recovery time. I researched further and was somewhat horrified by what I found.

    I then made a formal complaint to OSH, just before Christmas. That too has never even been receipt acknowledged. So, both the EMAIL and the letter copy were ignored completely.

    It gives the impression of no interest, or no care, or total overload by the most hazardous cases at hand.

    Whichever it is, I am left with the impression that OSH issues in NZ, is priority 428,467,976 under John Key’s Government. They seem to put more effort into adding gaming tables at Sky City Casino, or acting like serving wenches for the FBI chasing Kim Dot Com’s millions, when NSA copy more private information than KDC ever dealt with. Are they worried about serving NZers?

    This even makes Labour look attractive, just by comparison only.

    I hate voting by who I am least scared of. We ought to be looking for the best policies, rather than be looking for the least dangerous party.

    In the end, voters just have to take their own actions to protect their legitimate interests, at whatever cost that may bring.

  14. Downunder says:

    $100,000 bill for preventable death

    Because a colleague was operating a long track excavator, Mr Olsson was effectively in control of the operation, despite just over a week’s experience.

    “Adam Olsson was fresh on the job. He had no formal forestry industry qualification and had never previously worked on a tree-felling operation,”

    When State Coal owned the Strongman Coal Mine the Government paid between 200 and 250 thousand pounds in compensation to the 19 workers who died in the 1960′s explosion.

    The company was ordered to pay Mr Olsson’s family $55,000 in reparation but a $52,500 fine was reduced to $25,000 because it could not afford any more.

    No doubt there has been deflation in the value of a life.

  15. Downunder says:

    16th March – A whole 2 months since the last work-related forestry death.

  16. Alastair says:

    Haven’t seen many logging trucks on the roads. Maybe the Ports are full or KR’s lack of locos has limited the trains?

  17. MurrayBacon says:

    I am not casual about deaths and we should also be keeping just as watchful an eye on occupational diseases and impacts onto mental health too.

    Similarly for the road toll and the ird-cs / familycaught$ toll. The best measure is DALY Disability Adjusted Lost Years, which has been proposed by World Health Organisation.

    We need to keep a much better eye on people dallying in other people’s lives (without consent). MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

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