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NZ Forestry Industry Safety Council faces funding cuts

31 March 2024

The New Zealand forestry industry is facing a potential setback in its safety efforts due to a recent funding cut by WorkSafe, the government agency responsible for workplace safety. WorkSafe has decided to reduce its financial support to the Forestry Industry Safety Council (FISC) by 35-40%, raising concerns about the potential impact on safety initiatives within the industry.

The funding reduction comes despite the forestry sector having one of the highest rates of work-related fatalities and serious injuries in the country. FISC is expected to be forced to lay off staff and scale back on crucial safety programs as a result of the funding cuts.

While acknowledging the safety challenges faced by the forestry industry, WorkSafe maintains that the funding adjustments are necessary to optimize their approach and allocate resources towards areas with the most significant impact. They have also reiterated their commitment to safety and ongoing collaboration with the forestry sector.

“The funding cuts will have a negative impact on safety in the forestry industry,” said FISC council chair, Simon O’Grady. “If there is reduced funding going into the programmes that directly affect health and safety in our forests and other industries, then you would imagine that that … would have a flow-on effect and we’re certainly concerned that might be the outcome.”

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Source: RNZ