Health & Safety

Health and safety in the forest industry focuses on keeping workers safe, but also includes the wider social, cultural and spiritual values that forests provide to people and communities.

Fatalities and serious injuries – statistics

Reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries is a high priority for both government and industry.

  • In the 2012/13 year, there were 1439 injury claims from the forestry sector.
  • Since 2008, the number of serious harm injuries fluctuated between 161 and 188 per year.
  • Since 2008, the annual harvest increased by 40 percent, from 20.4 million cubic metres to 28 million cubic metres.

A downward trend in fatalities in the 1990s and the early 2000s was reversed in 2013-14, with a spike in these two years.

WorkSafe New Zealand has committed additional resources to addressing injury (and fatality) rates in the forestry sector and is being more proactive in assessments and monitoring safety compliance.

forest for health and well-being

New Zealanders recognise a wide range of social, cultural and spiritual values associated with both indigenous and planted forests. Māori have strong cultural, spiritual and commercial connections with forests and forestry. They are connected spiritually and culturally with indigenous forests as a resource for food, medicines, building materials, shelter, clothing, implements and handicrafts. Some of the most prominent values are:

  • freedom of access to a variety of recreational pursuits
  • the intrinsic contribution of forests to people’s health and wellbeing


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