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Safety Bulletins

Seasonal Changes - Sap's Running!

Slippery Logs – extra precautions! With the onset of spring weather, increased sap flow in trees generally points to one thing – slippery logs – and especially in mechanised operations where more bark is removed!

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Best Practice for Maintaining PPE

The Best Practice Guide for Personal Protective Equipment on page 3 notes, “a hi-vis garment that is dirty or faded will be less obvious to other workers and thus will provide less protection to the wearer. Garments should be washed regularly to preserve their high visibility. If washing does not restore high visibility, the garment should be replaced.”

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New Rules for Hi-Vis, Boots & Chaps!

These rules are for immediate implementation (1 September 2015) for all new purchases of Hi-Vis clothing. We do understand that the new rules (for more general implementation) will require a grace-period in order for Contractors to complete a full retrofit of crews. In view of that, the date for full compliance has been set for the 1st November 2015.

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PPE - Is yours up to scratch?

The ACoP Safety and Health in Forest Operations – (s.3, page 28) states that the “…employer shall provide all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect employees from harm due to any hazard at the work area, and shall ensure it is used correctly, inspected and maintained to fulfil its protective function.”

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Normalisation of Deviation

“…There is a tendency, over time, to accept defects, faults …and shortfalls as normal or as a part of normal practice.” – The Harvard Business Review calls this ‘the normalisation of deviation’.

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Driving in icy conditions

During July there were four driving incidents involving frosty conditions and NIWA is advising a few more frosty periods this winter.

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Serious burn incident

A skidworker was seriously burnt when his cigarette (or perhaps lighter) ignited fuel that had spilt from the chainsaw onto his clothing and body.

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Upset Conditions! Stop Work – Use RADAR!

The ACoP Safety and Health in Forest Operations – (amendment s.18, pages 12-13) states that the employer’s ‘…documented health and safety system…’ should include ‘…stop-work processes for …upset conditions’!

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PPE & Operator Protective Structures (OPS)

When using a static delimber the machine operator places the large (butt) end of the stem into the delimber then pulls the stem through to its small end. In this incident, a machine operator was attempting to delimb a heavily branched stem by pushing the stem through the delimber. There is no Substitute for Best Practice!

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Seasonal Changes Pose Risks!

The recent cold snap is a timely reminder for forestry workers that we are heading into a high-risk period for vehicle and machinery-related injuries. Snow, sleet, rain and the cold during mid-April have created challenging conditions for forest workers just as autumn begins.

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Measuring and Reporting – a Helpful Business Tool!

Phil O’Reilly, BusinessNZ CEO, says the survey “…is the most comprehensive assessment of where New Zealand stands in terms of the connection between absenteeism, sickness, costs and related practices in the workplace – until now, no one has put the pieces together to see what the picture looks like...”

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Absenteeism costs NZ $1.3 billion…

A study commissioned by Southern Cross Health and BusinessNZ found that an estimated 6.1 million days of work absences cost the New Zealand economy approximately $1.3b in 2012.

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Serious Harm & Sentinel Events

On the 28th of January, a driver lost control of the truck he was driving. While he managed to escape, the vehicle tumbled down off a road edge and was badly damaged. Initial reports indicated the driver missed a gear on the steep downhill grade and subsequently lost braking capacity.

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