Operational warning signs and protective flagging are a familiar sight across the region’s forests. They play a critical role in keeping forest operators and the general public safe when high risk activities, such as harvesting, occurs on site.
Worryingly over the past few months OneFortyOne Plantations has had some serious safety incidents reported by its contractors. These include members of the public purposefully disregarding warning signs and entering these high risk work sites. Incidents include a motorbike going through a harvesting site, people walking their dogs through operational sites and most recently a car drove through a harvesting site seconds after a tree was felled.
With a fundamental commitment to the safety of its team, its contractor partners and the communities in which it operates, OneFortyOne is about to implement new road closure signs in operational areas to try and stop unauthorised access while tree felling is in progress.
These types of signs have been successfully used in New Zealand for some time now, and OneFortyOne is adopting them in its forests. The signs and flagging will allow contractors to better control access to their sites, and raise awareness to the general public of the importance of keeping out of these dangerous sites.
OneFortyOne’s Marketing & Operations Manager, Mick Theobald was part of a recent onsite meeting with staff and contractors to discuss the implementation of the signs. “The signs have been trialled by one of our contractors in the forest, and we are pleased to be in a position to finalise the design and roll them out in the New Year across the OneFortyOne estate”, he said.
It is important to obey all signs in the forest and keep out of areas that have been flagged off for operations. “Our aim is to keep everyone safe whilst trees are being felled”, said Mr Theobald.