31 Mar 2016

WorkSafe worried about spate of forestry deaths

6:29 pm on 31 March 2016

Safety inspectors have opened an investigation after a tree fatally crushed a forestry worker north of Napier.

The man was working this afternoon in the Pohukura Forest, inland from Tutira, operated by Pan Pac Forest Products. It is the fourth forestry death this year.

WorkSafe chief executive Gordon MacDonald said he was worried about the spate of deaths in such a short period.

Mr MacDonald said although forestry had become safer since 2013, when 10 people died, today's death was a clear reminder that the industry had a lot more work to do.

WorkSafe had made more than 2000 forestry visits last year; and nearly 300 so far this year, he said.

Police and ambulance were sent to Pohukura Forest after the alarm was raised just after 1pm.

The forestry block is isolated, with access by four-wheel drive only.