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SECTION 8: Workplace safety

Workplace safety
Standard attire in the early 1900s
– a sawyer breaks down a log
at Endean’s sawmill (Waimiha, NZ).

Work health and safety (WHS) is a big issue in the timber industry. Traditionally, workers have been exposed to many dangers – from heavy machinery, to different types of saws and cutters, to logs and timber in their various forms, not to mention the noise, dust and other hazards found in any industrial workplace.

In order to address these issues there has been a huge effort over the last few decades to improve the industry’s safety record, and there have been some major advances in work practices and the technologies used to harvest, process and handle timber.

In this section, we’ll look at the main safety considerations that timber businesses need to address, and the systems of operation commonly used to maintain compliance with current WHS laws and regulations.


There are eleven lessons in this section: