NZ Forestry back to work under Level 3 (but with restrictions)
Posted: 21-Apr-2020 |

Under Alert Level 3, all primary sector businesses will be able to operate so long as they can meet COVID-19 safety guidelines, but businesses wanting to operate in Alert Level 3 will have to develop site-specific procedures and processes to work safely to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For the Forestry function includes all activities from the Establishment phase through to Pre-harvest. It encompasses all activities which centre around growth of the forest crop and maintenance of the asset for the majority of the rotation. Tree nurseries, Mechanical site preparation, Aerial spraying, Planting, Manual spot spraying, Silviculture (pruning & thinning), Inventory, Pest control (animal & plant), Fencing & security gate work, Other forest maintenance

In addition to public health considerations, a successful restart of forestry will require collaboration, coordination and detailed planning with all those involved across the supply chain.

This lockdown situation is unprecedented. Businesses should adjust their work schedule and expectations prior to start-up. The industry cannot reasonably expect people to complete the planned work in fewer days and this will particularly impact seasonal operations such as planting.

When people return to work, there will be a whole range of pressures which may be unseen and unknown (work scheduling, financial, emotional, relationship, physical pressures). It will not be business as usual for some time.

This is also the longest break from work that many people have had. We will have to be aware of mindset, physical condition and general health, along with pre-existing health conditions and circumstances within people's existing 'bubble'.

The challenges of working differently at this time means everyone needs to keep
communications open and honest so that together we can ensure our sector can operate. We need to be mindful of the consequences on the rest of the industry of a positive outbreak.

Guidelines to assist industry to develop their own site specific safe operating procedures can be found on the Safetree site here 

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