INDEPENDENT NEWS

Time for Silent Majority to be heard

Published: Mon 9 Jun 2014 11:37 AM
Time for Silent Majority to be heard
Forest safety is something that many of the leading forest contractors take seriously. So the next step in the forest safety review process is being welcomed by Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) and the many forest workers their members employ.
Several industry associations have a keen interest in ensuring that as many workers as possible get their voices heard by the panel members as they move around the country to discuss forest safety and how it can be improved.
One of the groups, the Forest Industry Contractors Association, represents over 55% of the companies providing forest operations and harvesting services. With staff numbers in the thousands it is important that they find their voice and make sure it is heard by review panel members.
The release of the consultation document by the Independent Forest Safety Review Panel signals the start a fortnight of consultation meetings. It is now time for workers and everyone else employed in the forest sector to have their say at one of the six regional meetings. The sessions begin this week in the South Island:
• Balclutha on Thursday 12 June
• Christchurch on Friday 13 June
• Rotorua on Wednesday 18 June
• Whangarei on Friday 20 June
• Gisborne on Monday 23 June
• Nelson on Wednesday 25 June
Spokesman John Stulen says, “Ahead of these meetings our contractor members will be working closely with their staff to make sure they are aware of the issues being raised by the panel and go along to the meeting and speak up from their experience.”
Mr Stulen added, “It’s our workers, supervisors and managers who are on the frontline in the forest each and every day. So they are the greatest source of expertise for making improvements. We certainly hope the panel members will take on board the messages they hear from our experienced people in the bush.”
“FICA contractor principals are justifiably proud of their safety records. Many have achieved and maintained the highest levels of ACC accreditation since the safety workplace safety management recognition system was introduced many years ago.”
“Our members will be working with their crews to ensure the voices of their people with practical experience in ensuring safety in the bush are heard by panel members.”
For workers who can’t attend the full-day regional meetings there is also an online survey:
Online survey for forestry workers
The Independent Forestry Safety Review is keen to learn more about forestry work from the workers themselves. This will help us understand the health and safety issues that affect them.
The five-minute survey is here: http://www.ifsr.co.nz/forestry-worker-survey
Information received from the survey will help inform the Review panel. Workers will remain anonymous.
Ends

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