28 May 2015

New chair for Forest safety council

7:55 am on 28 May 2015

A high profile professional director will chair the new Forest Industry Safety Council.

The council was officially launched at parliament this week, following recommendations from the Independent panel which reviewed forest safety last year.

Dame Alison Paterson will head the council which will include representatives of forest owners, contractors, workers, unions and Worksafe New Zealand.

Ms Paterson is currently a director of GMI Investments, Vector, Stevenson Agriculture, among other companies, and has previously chaired the state owned farming enterprise, Landcorp.

A national safety director is also being appointed to the council, whose role will be to make sure the work programme is being delivered, with a steady improvement in safety performance.

The forest safety review followed an appalling accident and death rate in 2013, when 10 forestry workers died and 169 were seriously injured in workplace accidents.

Last year there was one forestry fatality, and serious injuries fell by 25 percent.