ForestWorks Launches New Work Health and Safety Audit Tool

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A new Work Health and Safety Audit Tool is now available nation-wide to support organisations demonstrate and report their compliance against various safety standards.

The tool, which was the brainchild of the Forest Owners and Service Suppliers (FOSS) committee, was developed in collaboration with ForestWorks. The FOSS committee consists of forest contracting businesses and forest managers in the Green Triangle.

It was developed to meet the challenge of foresting contracting businesses being audited by multiple forest managers, against slightly different standards.

The Work Health and Safety Audit Tool was launched at an event in Mount Gambier last Tuesday, hosted by the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA).

Justin Jagger, Chairman of the Forest Owners and Service Suppliers committee, said the concept of one audit tool came from contractors identifying ways to be more efficient.

“The new tool describes one set of best practice safety standards and provides a template for all contractors to be audited against. It will result in fewer audits, with each one following the same format, saving businesses time and streamlining existing processes. The Audit tool will greatly improve safety management and compliance within our industry. This tool was developed by industry, for industry, in collaboration with our industry partners, and the fact that this tool is scalable and can be used countrywide,” said Justin.

General Manager of AFCA, Stacey Gardiner said AFCA was pleased that it could facilitate the launch of the Work Health and Safety Audit Tool.

“The Work Health and Safety Audit Tool is a great solution for industry looking to streamline their auditing processes and communication between forest managers. It demonstrates what can be achieved when industry works in partnership towards a common goal; the end result being an audit tool that will create improved processes and efficiencies in compliance,” said Stacey.

General Manager of ForestWorks, Diana Lloyd said the Work Health and Safety Audit Tool is being used by industry in the Green Triangle and is creating efficiencies for all parties involved in safety auditing processes.

“The Work Health and Safety Audit Tool is now being reviewed more broadly, for use in other regions across Australia,” said Diana.

The Work Health and Safety Audit Tool is housed on the Forestry Better Business Program website, as it aligns to the safety standards.

The Forestry Better Business Program will be officially launched next month, when access and use of the online portal will become available nationally. The Forestry Better Business Program will recognise professional businesses operating to high standards in the forest industry. Businesses will be able to use the web portal to store and share information to demonstrate they meet current safety, economic, environmental and social standards. The program is currently being trialled in Tasmania with positive feedback.

Access the Work Health and Safety Audit Tool at fbbp.forestworks.com.au/standards/safetyaudittool

From left to right: Andrew Matheson, HVP Plantations; Nick Reynish, ForestryConnect; Diane Muhovics, Moreland Logging; Justin Jagger, One Forty One Plantations; Diana Lloyd, ForestWorks; Dr Georgiana Daian, ForestWorks.