INDEPENDENT NEWS

Workplace Law Looks Set to Fell Forestry Industry

Published: Tue 22 Oct 2002 01:11 PM
Workplace Stress Law Looks Set to Fell Forestry Industry
The ridiculous nature of the Government’s new workplace-stress legislation is highlighted by the situation in the forestry industry, National’s Industrial Relations Spokesperson Roger Sowry and Forestry Spokesperson Brian Connell said today.
“Studies by the Logging Industry Research Association in the 1980s showed that physiological stress levels for people rose to extremely high levels during the felling of a tree,” says Brian Connell.
“Commonsense would suggest this is a normal human reaction to such a situation. Approximately 85,000 tonnes of logs are felled in New Zealand every single day. What are contractors supposed to do? How can they reduce the natural stress any ordinary human being feels during the process of felling a tree?” said Mr Connell.
“This could expose contractors to massive liabilities - up to $250,000 - for employee stress. Realistically, this is stress that cannot be avoided, ” says Mr Sowry.
“Where will we be if the logging industry is driven out of business by this legislation? I’m sure the Government would notice a $1.2 billion hole in the economy.
“It also appears this issue was bought to the attention of Margaret Wilson last year, yet she ignored it.
“This just shows what happens when we have loopy law driven by ideology, rather than carefully considered law formulated through commonsense”, said Roger Sowry.

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