WoodWeek – 23 April 2014

Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. In another short work week we have still been able to diligently seek the wood stories to keep you up to date.

ALL forest contractors are invited to attend next week’s FICA Logging Costing Workshop – ideally both the husbands and wives should attend. Call Christa in the FICA office for registration costs and details - now's good. FICA members receive at least one and up to three free registrations, depending on their membership status. These new format courses held in Balclutha and Gisborne recently have both been very well received.

FICA is also offering contractor staff a chance for a tailored first aid course the very next day at the St John offices in Whangarei. Call Christa today on 07 921 1382 to book a place for staff members needing a refresher course or their first certificate.

In a rare move, the Council of Trade Unions is taking legal action against two forestry companies over the deaths of workers.

This week’s Safety Corner - Overhead Felling Dangers – is focused on passing on information from incidents that have been recorded recently where fallers have had near misses from branches and dead spars falling out of the tops of trees during the felling phase.

FIEA’s next conferences are drawing considerable registrations as interest builds for the June series of events. Shipping and improving storage and handling efficiencies in ports will form part of the upcoming Wood Flow Logistics 2014 series. See the link in today’s story for full programme details.

The New Zealand School of Forestry is a foundation partner in the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative, which is breeding select eucalypts adapted to NZ drylands that produce naturally durable timbers. See information on the scholarships being offered through this partnership.

Before we hop to international forestry stories, one last point of interest. The South Otago Farm Forestry Association is celebrating its 50th birthday next month.

Moving across the Tasman for more forestry news, Gottstein Fellow Mr Mick Stephens believes that Australia can learn from the fire management programs being run in the United States and Canada. And in the USA, Oregon’s Seneca Sawmill is proving that innovation can help a business thrive in even the most challenging industries.

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Contractors ALERT - Profitability Workshop

Whangarei is the location for the well-known ‘Logging Costing’ workshop.

We have now re-focused and re-named the workshop to the ‘FICA Logging Costing for Profitability Workshop’. The next one is NEXT WEEK in WHANGAREI on 30 April – at 9:00am - note the new starting time for this workshop.

The first new format course held in Balclutha was very well-received. The new format includes two speakers – Mark Blackburne of Blackburne Group, well-known forestry accountants and Jon Dey of Forme Consulting, producers of annual machine costings. So for 2014 we plan to run it in four regions; East Coast, Northland (30 April), Taupo (24 September) and Nelson (22 October).

We will be canvassing members for feedback on an added half-day (morning) workshop for ‘Women in Forestry’ as a separate module. If there is demand, this extra workshop will be led by Sonya Elmiger from Blackburne Group. Call Christa in the FICA office to register.

Logging costing workshops are free to FICA members. Small contractor members get one free registration, medium contractors get two places and large contractors get three places. Extra FICA member registrations are $325+gst. Non-members are welcome with pre-payment of $650+gst.

Click here for more information and to register for the workshop.

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Safety Corner - Overhead Felling Dangers

Several incidents have been recorded recently where fallers have had near misses from branches and dead spars falling out of the tops of trees during the felling phase.

Potential Harm
Ranging from minor medical treatment up to fatal injuries.

Key Steps to Safe Falling
    1. Clear all vegetation from around the base of each tree and the escape route. The faller must be able to clearly see into the top of the tree – to do hazard assessments, to observe crown movement, to identify falling debris.

    2. Identify any unattached branches (hazards) in the top of the tree.

    3. Falling trees into other trees may cause branches to break – these broken branches are high risk hazards. If you have damaged a standing tree consider making an effort to mark the tree, with paint, to ensure the hazard is not forgotten.

    4. After completing a risk assessment decide whether you can control the hazards. Stop work and get another opinion if you are unsure. As a priority use mechanical assistance where possible.

    5. Ensure your escape route is clear of hazards and that at any point along the escape route you can see into the crown.

    6. Plan your cuts so that the back-cut is undertaken from the safest side. If fallers have a habit of only putting the back-cut in from one side (ie with a pulling chain) then safety will be compromised. Fallers should be able to use either a pulling or pushing chain to apply the back-cut. The choice should be the safest – not the most comfortable and/or least energy.

    7. Watch the top of the tree while completing the back-cut. Kneeling while you put in the back-cut provides greater neck rotation and improved visibility into the crown. While crouching gives greater speed – preference is for fallers to kneel.

    8. Retreat a safe distance down the escape path as the tree starts to fall. Treat every tree as a learning experience – take the time to evaluate what happened. Did it go as planned? Can I do anything different next time?

    9. And finally fallers should be regularly monitored for their willingness to take risks. The consequence of error for tree fallers can be fatal therefore any risk taking behaviours must be eliminated. Do regular SBOs and ensure negative behaviours are changed or re-task the individual.

Click here to download the safety alert and share with your crew members.

Source: nzfoa-iris.com

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Union seeks Legal Action

In a rare move, the Council of Trade Unions is taking legal action against two forestry companies over the deaths of workers.

A series of coronial inquests was due to begin in May this year into eight recent deaths in the logging industry, but some of those hearings are now on hold to allow for possible court action. The CTU says there have been 32 forestry deaths since 2008. It wants to prosecute two companies in relation to two cases that WorkSafe investigated but never laid charges over.

To read the full story click here

Source: Radio New Zealand

For further coverage of this story click here

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FICA & St John offer First Aid Course for WHANGAREI

The Forest Industry Contractors Association has joined forces with St John to offer first aid refresher courses for contractors and their staff. Forest managers and service providers to forest-based businesses are also welcome to use the opportunity to send their staff who need their certificate kept current.

Where: 43 Western Hills Drive, Kensington, Whangarei
When: 1st May 2014, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Cost: $130 inc GST

Click here to see the flyer with details on how to register.

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Forestry Industry Shipping and Logistics focus for FIEA Conference

Shipping and improving storage and handling efficiencies in ports will form part of the upcoming Wood Flow Logistics 2014 series that will be running for forestry, harvesting and wood transport companies in both New Zealand and Australia in mid-June. Details on the event can be found on www.woodflowlogistics.com

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Canterbury offers Scholarships for Dryland Research

The New Zealand School of Forestry is a foundation partner in the New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative which is breeding select eucalypts adapted to NZ drylands that produce naturally durable timbers. The DFI vision is for New Zealand to be a world-leader in breeding ground- durable eucalypts, and to be home to a valuable sustainable hardwood industry based on eucalypt forests, by 2050.

The School of Forestry is offering scholarships for postgraduate research on http://www.forestry.ac.nz/docs/DFI-Postgraduate-projects-2014.pdf five different projects to support the DFI research programme. These scholarships are supported by the NZ Forest Owners Association and Farm Forestry Association on behalf of the Forest Growing Levy Trust Board.

Scholarships are primarily for students to enrol in an MForSc at the University of Canterbury. However applicants for PhD study will also be considered. Scholarships will cover fees (at the domestic rate), a stipend (NZ$15,000 p.a. for an MForSc and NZ$20,000 p.a. for a PhD) and research costs. Students will be supervised by staff in both the School of Forestry and other relevant UC departments.

Applicants should have a BSc or BForSc. Ideally applicants would commence study in July 2014 although applicants who cannot commence until early 2015 will be considered. For more information on the scholarship visit www.forestry.ac.nz.

Applications should be sent to jeanette.allen@canterbury.ac.nz. Applications close on 5 May 2014.
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Industry Report provides Forest Fire Management Update

Gottstein Fellow Mr Mick Stephens believes that Australia can learn from the fire management programs being run in the United States and Canada. “We have many similarities to North America despite some variation in the ecology of our forests”, he explained.

“Both regions have similar issues with respect to high fuel loads and adverse future fire conditions, a high urban-forest interface and an increase in the occurrence and area of bushfires over the past decade”.

Mr Stephens used his 2013 Gottstein Fellowship to travel to North America to investigate recent changes to the forest fire management approach taken in those regions. Both the United States and Canada have had bi-partisan support for active management for forest fire prevention through complementary state (provincial) and federal strategies.

“The United States has implemented active forest fire management programs in response to the devastating fires in the western States in particular since the early 2000s. These programs have targeted fuel reduction as a major priority via a combination of prescribed burning and mechanical thinning, with many benefits being achieved”.

By removing excess trees, undergrowth and fine fuels, these benefits have included more fire- resilient ecological conditions, improved habitat, job creation and the commercial use of excess biomass. Where these programs are implemented the forests are healthier and less prone to extreme fires with lower associated carbon emissions.

“It’s been a win-win for all concerned”, said Mr Stephens. “The United States Forest Service has embarked on a $400 million program to undertake forest restoration and fuel reduction across 23 forest landscapes over a 10 year period. In addition to reducing bushfire risk, the program is supporting regional development by using the material as a source of supply for bioenergy and other wood products industries. The sale of this material also helps offset the costs of the treatment”.

“If the collaborative approach between policy makers, forest fire managers and the forest and wood products industry taken in North America could be replicated in Australia, we could reduce the risk and severity of future bushfires in this country”, Mr Stephens said.

“I would encourage a trial program in selected case-study areas to see how parts of Australia could also benefit from such a program. It should then be possible to extend it to a broader national program for long term severe bushfire mitigation”.

Mr Stephen’s full report can be accessed here.



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Farm Forestry Strong down South

The South Otago Farm Forestry Association is celebrating its 50th birthday next month. One of the early members and newsletter editor Ken Stephens, of Kaka Point, said the event would be marked with the association's annual meeting in Balclutha as well as a formal meal at the South Otago Town and Country Club on May 8.

He said the branch, was launched on April 6, 1964, with about 20 members and included farm forestry and lifestyle block forestry owners.

'It was a new concept at that stage,' Mr Stephens said. 'South Otago was quite a strong branch as there was a lot of land suitable for planting shelter, which became very important, not only commercially, but also for the environment, stock and crop shelter and erosion control.'

The branch had its own nursery, which grew seedlings for sale to members. The following week, on May 14, the branch will host a Trees on Farms seminar, partly funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund, which will look at 'Opportunities for trees on all farms in your district'.

It will begin at Telford from 10am and there will be speakers on topics including native plantings. Those attending will then visit Landcorp's dairy property near Owaka, which is managed by Peter and Helen Gilder.

Source: Otago Daily Times

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Job Cuts on cards for Forestry SA

Forests Minister Leon Bignell has confirmed Forestry SA is keen to cut almost 100 jobs in South Australia over the next two years reports ABC. Mr Bignell has met Forestry SA officials at Mount Gambier and says the Government now will consider the organisation's proposed cuts. "Forestry SA obviously has a view that they want to reduce the workforce here by 45 staff next year and 50 the year after to save between AU$8.5-9 million," he said.

The minister says he plans to meet the forestry workers' union, the CFMEU, to hear its concerns. The union says it was told at a meeting with Forestry SA last Monday that the organisation wanted government approval to halve its workforce within a year and use more contract work. Union official Brad Coates fears up to 150 jobs could be at risk across the south-east, mid-north and Adelaide Hills regions.

Source: ABC Rural
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Engineered Wood at Work

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USA Sawmill continues to grow through Innovation

Seneca Sawmill Company is transforming the way timber companies operate. The Eugene-based company in OR, USA was recently featured in IBM’s national publication, IBM Systems Magazine, for its visionary leadership and use of technology to build a thriving, sustainable business.

Founded in 1954, Seneca has continued to grow through challenging economic times for the timber industry, expanding to 650 million board feet of lumber per year—that’s 35 times its production in 1954. Seneca is now one of the largest timber companies of its kind in the United States. Originally started as a one mill operation, it has grown to four mills and now employs a multi-company structure that includes Seneca Sawmill Company, Seneca Jones Timber Company, Seneca Noti and Seneca Sustainable Energy.

According to IBM Systems Magazine, the key to Seneca’s success lies in its commitment to keep up with the times, particularly in the use and application of advanced technology to cut costs, save time and reduce waste across its multi-company operation.

Technological innovation is embedded into Seneca’s corporate culture and embraced organization wide—from upper management to shipping operators to back-office personnel. Nearly every aspect of Seneca’s workflow is hosted on advanced, user-friendly operating systems that integrate back-end transactions, order tracking, and sales and support efforts. Forklift operators are equipped with iPads to access and manage orders, paperless kiosks are used by suppliers and customers checking-in at various locations, and salespeople can give customers real-time shipping information, as well as update orders seamlessly. At its mills, laser technology ensures that Seneca wood is the straightest, most accurately cut wood in the industry.

Seneca’s approach to technology and environmental sustainability also go hand-in-hand in its culture of innovation. IMB reports that the company’s environmentally sustainable business practices help separate it from its competition. Nearly 100% of the company’s byproducts are repurposed for other uses. Items such as bark, chips, and sawdust are resold on the market. They are also turned into renewable energy to help fuel Seneca’s mills, as well as sold to local utility companies as energy sources. A company spokesman said the energy produced from Seneca’s byproducts can fuel 13,000 homes annually.

The result of Seneca’s commitment to innovation is that it continues to grow, even as many of its competitors struggle or have closed in recent years. By seeking technological solutions to the difficulties that come with a large, complex organization, Seneca is proving that innovation can help a business thrive in even the most challenging industries.

Source: Natural Resource Report

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Buy and Sell


… and finally … College quiz question

A dottering, old professor of logic asked his College class a question.

"If Philadelphia is 100 miles from New York and Chicago is 1000 miles from Philadelphia and Los Angeles is 2000 miles from Chicago, and the Moon is 239,000 miles from Earth, how old am I?"

A student in the back of the class raised his hand and when called upon said, "Professor, you're 70."

The old professor said, "You're absolutely correct, but tell me, how did you arrive at the answer so quickly?"

The student said, "It's easy, I have a brother, he's 35, and he's half nuts."



Have a safe and prosperous week.

John Stulen
Editor
PO Box 1230
Building X91, Scion Campus, 99 Sala Street
Rotorua, New Zealand
Tel +64 27 275 8011
Web www.woodweek.com

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