Official website of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association

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Health and Safety

Small Scale Forestry Safety Guidelines

These guidelines have been prepared with Forest Grower's Levy funding and are available here >>



  • Safetree™ is your one-stop resource to find the safety information you need to do your jobs safely and without injury.
  • Safetree™ provides resources to you at all levels of the industry to remind you how to do your jobs safely.
  • Safetree™ targets information at forest owners and managers, contractors, foremen, head breaker outs, breaker outs, tree fallers, hauler and machine operators, and silviculture workers.

Safetree website »

Safetree resources

Farm Foresters' Contractor Checklist »

Forestry risks

How to manage forestry risks »

Poster - Working alone »

Poster - Fatigue »

Health and Safety at Work Act

How to manage health and safety under HSWA »

Booklet – HSWA and work-related health »

How to manage visitor safety at the workplace »

Video – Help to Manage Visitor Safety »


Worksafe New Zealand

These guidelines provide owners of small forests with practical advice on managing a harvest safely and healthily.

WorkSafe New Zealand has a forestry safety assessment programme called Safer Forest Harvesting.

Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
March 2016

A Different Kettle of Fish: Small and medium scale forests
November 2016
This report discusses the specific issues faced in small-scale forestry and the differences between harvesting woodlots and farm forests, and large, industrial forests.

A principal's guide to contracting to meet the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
This guide sets out a broad process for building health and safety into contract management, which can then
be adapted to specific contractual situations or industries.

Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)

Safety and Health in Forest Operations: Roles and Responsibilities of Principals and Contractors
November 2014 (pdf). Note: This ACOP is to be fully revised during 2015



Infozone: Business Essentials explains the basics of employment relations and health & safety requirements
for running a business. It provides templates, examples and links to practical tools and more detailed information.

Accident Compensation Corporation

1. ACC Forest Safety Guidance leaflets

Leaflet 1: Strains and sprains on skid sites

Leaflet 2: Health and well-being

Leaflet 3: Avoiding injuries when pruning and thinning -to-waste

Leaflet 4: Avoiding injuries when planting and releasing

Leaflet 5: Avoiding felling injuries

Leaflet 6: Safer machine operating

Leaflet 9: Felling and breaking out skills quiz

Leaflet 10: Quiz answers

Leaflet 11: Avoiding injuries on the skidsite

Leaflet 12: Forest machinery maintenance

2. ACC forestry safety

On the ACC forestry page:

The following small business resources provide tips and information specific to safety in the forestry industry:

WorkSafe programme
Use ACC’s key work safety programmes to establish health and safety systems and help keep your business injury-free. For further information see:


Tree Grower articles

  • Back to basics - thinning techniques
    Harriet Palmer, November 2008
    The latest Wellington branch field day – Thinning: back to basics – was organised and hosted by Dave Gratton at his Upper Hutt property. As ever when Dave is our…
  • Obey the safety rules
    Dave Gratton, August 2007
    Personal protective equipment (PPE) or, in the kiwi terminology, safety gear.  Whatever you call it, PPE is designed for only one purpose, and that is to protect you from harm.…
  • New best practice health and safety guidelines
    Dave Gratton, August 2006
    The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 promotes the management of health and safety issues in industry. The Act requires principals and self employed people who control places of…
  • How safe are you?
    Dave Gratton, February 2006
    If you did not carry out maintenance on your car you would not pass the WOF required to enable you to legally drive on the road. But when we look…
  • Farmsafe training
    Dave Gratton, May 2005
    OSH and ACC statistics tell us that farming, forestry, fishing and construction are the major industries with the highest death and injury statistics in New Zealand. Agriculture statistics show that…



  • The Forest Industry Safety Council What is it up to? June 2016
    On March 16 at the Forestwood conference in Auckland, on behalf of NZFFA, I signed the charter for the Forest Industry Safety Council. This was signed on behalf of the…
  • Forestry deaths should strengthen industry’s resolve to work harder on safety March 2016
    The deaths of four workers in the past three months is a sad reminder that the forestry industry still has much work to do to improve its safety performance, the…
  • Small scale forestry safety guidelines January 2016
    The NZ Farm Forestry Association, with support from the Forest Growers Commodity Levy, has just produced guidelines to help growers comply with current health and safety legislation as it applies to…
  • Forest safety council underway February 2015
    The forest industry has established a safety council to make forests safer places to work. This was a key recommendation of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel that reviewed forest…
  • Independent Forestry Safety Review Final Report available October 2014
    Since 2008, 32 lives have been lost on the forest block.  The forestry industry is the most dangerous industry in which to work in New Zealand.  The injury rate is…
  • Media release: Forest owners want people to speak up June 2014
    The sponsors of the Independent Forestry Safety Review welcome the public consultation document issued by the review panel on Friday. ”It poses a series of questions which will provide a…
  • Major forest industry safety review launched January 2014
    An independent panel is to conduct a major review into the high number of serious and fatal injuries in the forest industry. The panel members are business leader George Adams,…
    Recent assessments of forest workplaces by MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and ACC have the full backing of the Forest Owners Association. “Regulation is not the only way…
  • Forest owners ask critics to help November 2013
    Forest owners are asking politicians, unionists and commentators to help them solve the industry's safety crisis and to stop making political capital out of tragedy. “We are all agreed –…


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