Forestry Corporation of NSW has renewed its safety partnership with WorkCover NSW, following a 35 per cent reduction in injury claims since the first partnership was signed in 2011.
Under the renewed agreement, the organisations will conduct further industry-specific training programs, and have made a commitment to better information sharing.
The Eden community has been a strong advocate for safety in the industry, and has paid tribute to more than 100 Australian workers killed on the job through the National Timber Workers Memorial, which has been funded and maintained by local residents since 2008.
Over the past five years, 755 injuries in the NSW forestry industry have cost the Workers Compensation Scheme more than $8.369million.
Common workplace injuries include body stressing, falls, trips and slips and being hit by moving objects, while forest logging contractors are over-represented in truck rollover crash statistics.
Forestry Corporation of NSW CEO Nick Roberts said the partnership is a vital component of health and safety in an industry with unique risks and hazards.
“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 firefighting,” Mr Roberts said.
“By improving dialogue and cooperation between Forestry Corporation and WorkCover, we expect this partnership will drive new ideas and practical solutions to minimise the risks involved in forestry work.
“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.”
Acting general manager of WorkCover NSW’s Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy, said significant progress has been made in recent years to address safety issues in partnership with the high-risk forestry industry.
The partnership has so far delivered a hazard identification and risk management program for forest harvesting, a comprehensive guide to safety management systems and obligations, and a new national package on risk management for forestry operations.
“This initiative is another example of the State Government’s commitment to developing sustainable workplace safety outcomes in NSW which get workers home safely and make businesses more productive,” Mr Dunphy said.