Why we need to focus on critical risks

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IRIS Quarterly Report highlights need to focus on critical risks

Reviews of the latest IRIS and ACC incident data shows that we should still focus on the critical risk areas and our critical defences as a way to stop injuries in our industry. Our critical risk areas (things that cause serious harm and fatalities) are:

  • tree felling (including branches and spars from above)
  • breaking out / extraction
  • driving vehicles
  • processing on the skid site
  • maintenance.

Critical defences we use to prevent injury when doing this work are:

  • Planning – for the block and for the day
  • Communication – what’s the plan, does everyone know it, is it working, has anything changed
  • Separation – either distance (2 tree lengths, safe retreat), or time (not doing work activities at the same time)
  • Competency – people doing the work have the right mix of training, skills and experience to do the job well
  • Emergency response – there is a well-practised response if anyone does get hurt.

The stats also shown issues with slips, trips and falls caused by uneven surfaces, debris and getting in and out of vehicles (knees and hips don’t like it when you jump out of vehicles). These have led to a range of soft tissue injuries, lacerations from chainsaws, puncture wounds and in one case a broken ankle on a skid site.

Have a look at the IRIS report and let us know if you’d like any other information from the IRIS database.

About IRIS

IRIS (Incident Recording Information System) is used to collect and analyse incident data from a number of forestry companies to help build a picture of the type, frequency and severity of incidents, and to identify key contributing causes. The information is analysed by Scion. The IRIS system also allows participating companies to benchmark their health and safety performance against industry averages. The IRIS website also includes Safety Alerts.

Read more on the New Zealand Forest Owners Association website

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