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    ABSTRACT

New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2019) 63(4): 7–8
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Conference Report
Human factors engagement to improve health and safety

Les Bak *,1

1 Health and Safety Manager, Nelson Forests. Email: les.bak@nelsonforests.com
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Developing a safety culture The forestry industry has spent a lot of resources and energy developing a ‘safety culture’. I often get the statement ‘if you have good culture you will achieve good health and safety.’ I believe that safety culture alone will not achieve ‘good health and safety’. It is, however, the foundation to having the trust and collaboration to allow good engagement and learning. There are situations every day that we face at work that involve risks that require decisions and immediate responses or actions from people to mitigate them. During these situations decisions are made with rational and logical thinking. This then requires us to believe people are not coming to work to be hurt or make bad decisions. So, if these decisions are rational and logical how then do incidents still occur? This is the foundation question and thinking for engaging with our contractors in discussions to help us learn about human factors that can lead to human error. Only by engaging with contractors to understand how work ‘actually’ gets done and where human factors are leading to risky decisions can we truly find improvements to current health and safety best practices.
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