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NZ union hits out at forestry safety
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New Zealand Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly believes that the Forest Owners Association needs to do more to prevent workplace accidents. Source: Gisborne Herald New Zealand
The Forestry Sector Action Plan 2010-13 was prepared by the Department of Labor, ACC and New Zealand Forest Owners Association in response to the Department of Laborís decision to focus its efforts on five priority sectors, including forestry.
The plan sets out specific actions to reduce the work toll in the forestry sector, with a particular focus on health and safety systems and processes for the tasks of tree-felling and breaking-out, but Ms Kelly does not think the Forest Owners Association is taking it seriously.
New Zealand Forest Owners Association health and safety committee chairman Sheldon Drummond says it is committed to embedding a safety culture in forests and plans to roll out a safety culture initiative this year.
Ms Kelly said good worker representation would help to ensure health and safety regulations were monitored better, but she did not think forestry workers had the same opportunity as other industries to join a union.
Mr Drummond disputed the NZCTU presidentís claims of a lack of worker representation.