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Lone Working In Forestry 

Britain’s forests and woodlands are part of our national heritage. It’s estimated that there are 3.19 million hectares of woodland in the UK: 13% of the total land area of the UK. That’s a lot of trees and woodland to manage, prune and fell! Lone workers in forestry can be involved in operating harvester and felling machinery, they might be timber workers and drivers, or people maintaining forest grounds.

Protecting lone workers in the forestry sector - whether they are arborists, fellers or timber drivers -  is not only a legal duty but a moral one. Use Safepoint’s lone working safety solution to protect everyone in your forestry organisation with ease.

 
 
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Risks

One of the main concerns for lone workers operating in Britain’s forests is being out of sight and out of mind. Working remotely, often in secluded or isolated areas means risks for forestry workers can be great. In HSE’s 2018/19 report, 39 people were killed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. The greatest cause of death was being struck by a moving vehicle, followed closely by being injured by an animal or falling from height. 

Risks can include:

Operating dangerous machinery as part of the felling or pruning process, including chainsaws, wood-chippers and cranes

Working at height, climbing trees and ladders, and the danger of falling objects 

Working in remote locations; lack of immediate support, danger of lone workers attempting jobs without the necessary backup

Moving vehicles on worksites, possibly without proper road access or defined access ways, can lead to incident

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Responsibilities

Agriculture, forestry and fishing has the highest rate of fatal injuries of any industry sector in the UK, with a rate 18 times higher than the average rate across all industries. A rate of fatal injury this high is heartbreaking and we believe that by sharing the responsibility between employers, lone workers and lone worker safety solutions, we can make a positive impact. 

If a forestry worker operating alone in a large forest finds finds themselves in an emergency, their employer should know where they are and should be prepared to respond promptly and effectively.

Lone workers in the forestry sector also have a responsibility to work safely and with all due care. Lone workers should ensure they follow health and safety policies, and do not attempt tasks that require two or more people alone and communicate their health and safety needs clearly.

Solutions

All of the fatal injuries reported by the HSE can be safeguarded against and prevented with a combination of the right tools, training and awareness. Training is one of your most powerful tools: ensure that staff are thoroughly educated in safe working practice and receive regular refresher courses.

In a case where a member of the public was struck by a falling tree as it was being felled, a HSE case study found that the “accident could have easily been prevented if an on-site risk assessment had been carried out.” Site-specific risk assessments are an imperative, particularly when working in areas where the public might be present.

Working in isolated areas of woodland that may not have direct access means that your lone workers can be difficult to find in the event of an emergency. Safepoint tracks GPS location in real time so you’ll be able to relay a lone workers exact location to emergency services.

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Robust management tools

Safepoint helps you meet health and safety requirements and legally safeguard your forestry organisation for the future. Manage your lone workers simply and effectively, and make informed safety decisions in real-time.

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Smart, effective protection

Safepoint offers smart protection for lone workers in the field. Your employees can request help in case of emergency and the app alerts Guardians in the event a task duration expires. Your lone workers are safeguarded wherever they are.

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Visibility and real-time updates

Safepoint shares vital safety information including GPS location, battery life and signal strength, instantly keeping Guardians and lone workers updated. Data is only shared during an active task so lone worker privacy is maintained.

Request a callback

Interested in Safepoint and want to discuss how our lone worker solution can help your business? Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you.

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