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Know your role

If the land owner is carrying out the work themselves then all of the requirements of the Health and Safety and Welfare at work Act 2005 rest with them.

When the landowner is obtaining the services of a harvesting contractor or other, then they should enter into a written arrangement outlining what responsibility each party has in relation to the operations taking place.

Depending on your control of operations, you may be responsible for a number of roles, e.g. Landowner and/or Forestry Works Manager.

As the Landowner, you are required to consider the following:

  • Site access for machinery
  • The effects of forestry operations on your neighbours, the local community and the public
  • Inform the forestry work manager/contractor of all known hazards on their land to complete the risk assessment 

Your main duties as a Forestry Works Manager will include:

  • Completing a risk assessment for the work on site
  • Mapping the work site, highlighting hazards, e.g. access roads, overhead power lines, steep terrain, windblow, dead or diseased trees
  • Ensuring all contractors are competent and properly trained including the necessary health and safety training and insurance details
  • Check weekly to see that the site operational risk assessment is being fully complied with 

When engaging a forestry company, forester, sawmill, contractor or any other such client to carry out work on your site, they should then take on the role of Forestry Works Manager and must carry out the duties as described above.

It is important prior to any work commencing to get a written agreement on who will be the Forestry Works Manager.

Any Contractors / Subcontractors operating on site must:

  • Be competent and properly trained
  • Have a good safety record
  • Be in possession of a specific site Safety Statement based on risk assessment
  • Coordinate with employees / subcontractors to ensure that the health and safety requirements are in place