Safety first - Local forestry contractors keen to pursue certification process

Changes: Increasing use of processors and other machine equipment reflects changes to the roles in forestry harvesting operations.

Eastland Wood Council is well on the way to having all forestry contractors Safetree-certified by the end of 2020.

The first workshop promoting the Safetree certification process attracted 40 representatives from forest companies and contractors.

Safetree is run by the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC), and provides programmes and resources to help people run safe and successful forestry operations.

“It is good to see the interest and support from the sector in this region, and a willingness to work together,” said Forest Industry Safety Council national safety director Fiona Ewing.

“It was great to be able to showcase some of the leadership training that has been developed for Safetree by The Learning Wave.”

For Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland it is a commitment members are happy to make.

“Our goal is to have safe and healthy people and work environment,” she said.

“We want to ensure there are professional standards of health and safety across the East Coast forestry industry.

“For our members it is about creating and leading best practice.

“Through our Generation Programme we are putting young people out into our industry and I want to be assured they are safe at work — both them and their crew-mates.”

The national certification programme has received a big tick from some of the industry’s key players and regional contractors alike.

Forest Industry Contractors Association chief executive Prue Younger sees Safetree as a way for contractors to assess their business against an industry standard that quickly identifies any gaps.

“Having our board member Tony Gamble on the certification panel maintains a credibility for the sector and an assurance that the programme is industry driven,” said Ms Younger. “It’s a continual improvement process too, with new modules being included to offer a holistic overview of the business including social, commercial and environmental aspects. “We will focus on supporting our members into the programme as we drive government and others outside of the industry to use this as a minimum standard which will improve integrity for professionalism.”

Forest Enterprises is the first principal forestry company operating on the coast to have all of its harvest contractors achieve Safetree Contractor Certification, with crews from Speirs Logging, Raywood Contractors and Blackstump Logging passing.

“These crews are certainly high- performing contractors in the region,” said Forest Enterprises’ Gisborne regional manager and shareholder, Dan Fraser.

“Blake Speirs, Wayne and Ange McEwen (Blackstump) and Kelvin and Sheryl Diack (Raywood) should be very proud of their achievement — we certainly are.”

Mr Fraser said expectations from their investors was high when it came to health and safety and environmental standards.

“This certification by our logging contractors reflects our professionalism in managing the forest asset.”

For some local contractors it underlined they were already well on track.

Kelvin Diack, director of Raywood Contracting, said the Safetree certification confirmed to him they have a “really good” crew culture and the recognition was a huge boost for the crew.

“It is great to see Eastland Wood Council supporting and encouraging contractors to become certified,” said Mr Diack.

“As more contractors become certified I expect the programme will improve and the benchmark will rise, helping the forest industry move towards being safer and more professional.”

Safetree was designed in consultation with WorkSafe and the forestry industry. It is based on industry good practice and involves an assessment and field audit of a contractor’s health and safety systems, involving employees and owners.

Eastland Wood Council is well on the way to having all forestry contractors Safetree-certified by the end of 2020.

The first workshop promoting the Safetree certification process attracted 40 representatives from forest companies and contractors.

Safetree is run by the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC), and provides programmes and resources to help people run safe and successful forestry operations.

“It is good to see the interest and support from the sector in this region, and a willingness to work together,” said Forest Industry Safety Council national safety director Fiona Ewing.

“It was great to be able to showcase some of the leadership training that has been developed for Safetree by The Learning Wave.”

For Eastland Wood Council chief executive Kim Holland it is a commitment members are happy to make.

“Our goal is to have safe and healthy people and work environment,” she said.

“We want to ensure there are professional standards of health and safety across the East Coast forestry industry.

“For our members it is about creating and leading best practice.

“Through our Generation Programme we are putting young people out into our industry and I want to be assured they are safe at work — both them and their crew-mates.”

The national certification programme has received a big tick from some of the industry’s key players and regional contractors alike.

Forest Industry Contractors Association chief executive Prue Younger sees Safetree as a way for contractors to assess their business against an industry standard that quickly identifies any gaps.

“Having our board member Tony Gamble on the certification panel maintains a credibility for the sector and an assurance that the programme is industry driven,” said Ms Younger. “It’s a continual improvement process too, with new modules being included to offer a holistic overview of the business including social, commercial and environmental aspects. “We will focus on supporting our members into the programme as we drive government and others outside of the industry to use this as a minimum standard which will improve integrity for professionalism.”

Forest Enterprises is the first principal forestry company operating on the coast to have all of its harvest contractors achieve Safetree Contractor Certification, with crews from Speirs Logging, Raywood Contractors and Blackstump Logging passing.

“These crews are certainly high- performing contractors in the region,” said Forest Enterprises’ Gisborne regional manager and shareholder, Dan Fraser.

“Blake Speirs, Wayne and Ange McEwen (Blackstump) and Kelvin and Sheryl Diack (Raywood) should be very proud of their achievement — we certainly are.”

Mr Fraser said expectations from their investors was high when it came to health and safety and environmental standards.

“This certification by our logging contractors reflects our professionalism in managing the forest asset.”

For some local contractors it underlined they were already well on track.

Kelvin Diack, director of Raywood Contracting, said the Safetree certification confirmed to him they have a “really good” crew culture and the recognition was a huge boost for the crew.

“It is great to see Eastland Wood Council supporting and encouraging contractors to become certified,” said Mr Diack.

“As more contractors become certified I expect the programme will improve and the benchmark will rise, helping the forest industry move towards being safer and more professional.”

Safetree was designed in consultation with WorkSafe and the forestry industry. It is based on industry good practice and involves an assessment and field audit of a contractor’s health and safety systems, involving employees and owners.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

KIA KAHA, Taupo - 4 days ago
Were there any silviculture contractors doing contractor certification?
Forest companies audit all their crews regularly and it's not called contractor certification.
The cost of certification is the deterrent for silviculture contractors and then, if it is free to go, the unpaid down time of taking the day off to go is another deterrent - as well as who will be looking after their crew if the contractor goes?
The industry and companies should be paying and helping the contractors and people to be certified.
If safety is important, why aren't they paying their people to be certified?
Why does the cost always fall on the contractor?