Published: 3:17PM Monday August 05, 2013 Source: ONE News
A forestry worker in Rotorua is in hospital with serious injuries after a tree fell on him.
The 47-year-old from Taupo suffered serious head and back injuries and a fractured arm.
Rotorua St John Ambulance Officers stabilised him on scene at Mihi and he was then airlifted by the Bay Trust Rescue Helicopter to Rotorua Hospital for further treatment.
Last month a 45-year-old Tokoroa man was killed when he was hit by a large log in the Kinleith forestry area, prompting calls for the forestry industry to step up its commitment to safety.
His death was the sixth in the industry this year.
Following the death, Labour’s Health and Safety spokesperson Darien Fenton said that the Government needs to conduct an urgent inquiry into safety standards in the industry, including taking a closer look at working hours and conditions.
The Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said New Zealand’s record was “dismal on an international scale” and “our standards are inferior by a country mile”.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Ona de Rooy said an assessment of the forestry industry procedures was about to get under way.
“We will be taking a strong enforcement line during these visits and companies, contractors and crews can expect enforcement action if they’re not meeting their obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act,” said Ms de Rooy.
Inspectors would take action if evidence of fatigue or production pressure was causing unsafe behaviour, but workers were also being reminded that they need to take responsibility for their own safety.