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WorkSafe NZ assessment tool available for viewing

WorkSafe NZ assessment tool available for viewing

Richard Tregoweth - Friday, February 21, 2014

Beginning at the end of February WorkSafe NZ inspectors will switch their attention to 'forestry' tree felling work sites. 

The primary focus on tree felling by WorkSafe NZ forms part of the second phase in the forestry assessment programme - Safer Forestry Harvesting - not strictly arb but our industry seems to be coming under the same umbrella.

Here's what forestry journal Friday Offcuts has to say:

"To support the industry and to ensure that it is operating to best practice, a (WorksSafe NZ) guideline has been produced.

To ensure the industry is clear about WorkSafe NZ’s expectations, an Assessment Tool and a Practice Note have also been produced and will be published on the WorkSafe NZ website.

The Assessment Tool is the document each inspector will be working with on each visit and the Practice Note describes WorkSafe New Zealand’s approach to the assessment round."

As far as Treetools is aware this is the first time an internal document has been publicly available to the industry - download a copy now and you'll gain some insight into how the WorkSafe NZ inspectors will approach your work site.

"WorkSafe NZ is committed to making its operational practices and approaches as transparent as possible to the industry as a whole so that there is no doubt about the agency’s expectations" according to Friday Offcuts.

The Tree Felling Guideline and WorkSafe NZ Assessment Tool will be available for download from the WorkSafe NZ website on 28 February but here's a sneak preview from Treetools.

Jerry Lynch has correctly pointed out that arborists are trained to a different unit standard for tree felling - arboriculture comes under horticulture (not forestry) in terms of training but it appears that, as far as WorkSafe NZ are concerned if you work with trees and chainsaws you're forestry.

But there are two sides to every story - the forestry boys claim the Taranaki shelter-belt trimming contractor fined $80,000 earlier this week for a newly employed 'tree feller' death should not be lumped under 'forestry' statistics.

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