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Forest Worker – Road Travel Risk!

Every year the forest industry receives many reports on road crashes and near hits!  Most do not result in fatalities or injuries, but some have, indicating a need for caution!

While the forest industry has worked hard to eliminate sources of harm, the risk of a crash on a forestry or back country public road, resulting in injury or costly damage is real for all forestry workers during work travel.

Additionally, it is a sobering fact that groups of forestry workers i.e. that travel together, are often from the same local community.  They may be workers from the same (foreign) country, the same whanau or iwi (close relatives).  At such times, when tragedy strikes, the impacts can be huge!  In view of these points, please take careful note of this safety alert!

INC2709 23/09/20 – Seven Injured

Description – Two planting crews finished at a remote planting site, north of Wairoa in the Hawke’s Bay.  They had intended to finish early and then travel to New Plymouth, however, as work was not finished by 1:00 pm the two foremen decided to stay overnight in Wairoa and travel the next day.

At 2:30pm, the seven occupants of the first work van, all from the same Pacific Island, departed for Wairoa.  Tired, some fell asleep while the driver and co-pilot talked and shared a snack.  At around 3:00pm the driver was suddenly distracted by talking in the back of the vehicle.  Coming into a corner, he lost control of the van in the gravel, which left the road and collided with a tree.  All seven occupants sustained injuries and required a check-over at the Wairoa base hospital.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 123