Focus on forestry worker safety

Date: Jul 01, 2014

Forestry worker injuries are an ongoing issue, so the renewal of WorkCover NSW’s safety partnership with the Forestry Corporation of NSW should be welcomed by all quarters.

In the last five years, there have been 755 injuries in the forestry industry, which have together cost the Workers Compensation Scheme more than $8.369 million. Since the partnership was established in 2011, however, there has been a 35 per cent decrease in injury claims.

The partnership sees WorkCover and the Forestry Corporation working together to develop approaches to work health and safety. The two organisations also form injury management strategies for the high-risk industry.

Peter Dunphy, Acting General Manager of WorkCover NSW’s Work Health and Safety Division, says that a number of tools are now available for employers, thanks to the discussions in recent years.

“A range of resources that improve the safety of forestry workers and the community have also been implemented, including the Forest Industry Safety Tool, a comprehensive publication that helps forest operators develop strong safety management systems and comply with workplace safety obligations,” he said.

“WorkCover and Forestry Corporation of NSW have also contributed to the development of a new national package for forestry operations, Managing risks in forestry operations.”

Despite strategies and plans, the forestry industry is always going to be dangerous for employees. WorkCover highlights body stressing, falls, trips and slips as common workplace injuries, as well as truck rollover crashes.

Nick Roberts, Forestry Corporation of NSW CEO, believes having open discussions with work safety experts is very beneficial to minimising risks on site.

“Forestry Corporation’s workforce is diverse and mobile, with staff and contractors involved in activities ranging from setting and monitoring remote wildlife traps through to large scale tree felling and timber hauling operations and fire fighting,” he explained.

“We’re already working together on a safety training program specifically tailored to log truck drivers and we hope the partnership will deliver many more practical initiatives that will make for a safer workplace for all forestry employees.”

Workplace compensation in NSW

Employees injured at work are also entitled to compensation. It is recommended that you contact a compensation lawyer who can advise you on how to make your claim and assist you through the process.

These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis, so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.