On 13 September 2018, industry associations Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) signed up to a charter of essential training standards for the workforce and life saving commitments to guide behaviour.
It means that forestry businesses across the Australia Forest Industry have joined together in a united approach to lift safety standards across the board.
The essential training standards outline agreed units of competency that workers will be required to have to do certain tasks in the industry like driving heavy plant or log trucks; using hand held motorised equipment; and ground-based workers working near heavy plant and tree falling operations.
For existing workers, this means that pre-existing training against a national competency may need to be verified by a statement of attainment, or through previously recognised State based industry standards.
New workers will need to be supervised when undertaking these tasks and undergoing training and must hold the statements of attainment within 6 months of commencing work.
Along with common training standards, AFPA and AFCA launched 12 life saving commitments to guide behaviour in the industry.
These draw the attention of workers to critical risks in the industry and ensure that baseline safety rules are common everywhere.
The Australian forest industry is varied and unique but, in every forest, on every road, at every log dump, the industry demands the same high level of safety and our workers
We all need to be aware of the key risks and behaviours to keep us and our work mates safe at work.
Making sure all forest workers get home to their families at the end of each working day is the driving force behind Safe and Skilled.
You will start to see more information on the life saving commitments as they apply to our business over the coming weeks and I encourage you all to stay focused on these and make them part of your daily routine.