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Outstanding safety performance recognised

250,000 hours accident free

Contractors working in the Viking Global NZ Ltd estate had, at the end of August 2015, achieved more than 250,000 hours accident free; 30 months without any serious harm. Just before that there was a felling incident down Taupo way, however, that was after 44 months without lost time injury. In other words, 74 months in total with one incident resulting in a lost time injury. Considering that this result was achieved by four or five key contractors those are a few zeros worth noticing.

The safety performance of those contractors who had spent a significant amount of time working in a Viking global forest, was recognised and rewarded at the August Safety Champions’ meeting with specially printed T-shirts for the crews and their managers.

One of the crews recognised was Wilson Logging Ltd (crew 37) whose principal is Paul Wilson. Another was S&R Logging Ltd (crew 53) whose principal, Simon Walker, was profiled in last month’s Wood Matters.

Wilson crew 37

The photo above is of crew 37 wearing the T-shirts they were given as a mark of Viking Global NZ Ltd achieving 250,000 hour’s accident free. What you can’t see in the picture is how cold it was on this particular morning and all the jerseys and jackets just out of frame. Thanks to the crew for making the Mamaku Ranges look like the Bahamas!

We spoke to Paul Wilson about Health and Safety and the good record of his crew.  The conversation kept coming back to crew culture, or as Paul describes it, “a happy crew is a productive crew.” Paul describes his crew, as a group where “everyone talks and they can ask one another for help. They all get on, it’s a big bonus.”

We talked a little about drugs and alcohol in the business. Paul does not run a rehabilitation programme. The whole crew takes a very dim view of drug taking and those that engage in it are putting their employment into serious jeopardy.

Paul also noted that all the Viking contractors put a lot of effort into Health and Safety. In his words “you have to be prepared to put the time into the crew, and have everyone trained. Work goes well when everyone is ‘ticketed’ for what they do. With that focus and a stable group we all know we are here for the long term, no one’s going to bugger off in the next 5 minutes.”

The Viking contractors have been held up as a great example of safety in forestry. They are a bunch of people that have outperformed in safety and drug and alcohol testing results.

PF Olsen takes this opportunity to thank all those that contributed to the outstanding record in the Viking estate and we commend this as an example for others to follow. Well done to the Viking team!

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