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Leading UK safety experts heading to Lochaber to meet with Highlands and Islands Forestry Sector

20 September 2012

Leading UK figures in forestry safety will be in Fort William on Tuesday (25 September) to meet with industry workers from across the Highlands and Islands.

Dr Andrew Turner, HM Principal Inspector of Safety with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been invited by the Highland Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC) to an event focused on the ongoing efforts to improve safety records for the sector.

A range of forest industry businesses based across the region will be attending the event at Nevis Range. Additional expert speakers will outline current statistics and latest thinking on preventing accidents.

The UK chairman of FISA, Steve Lavery will introduce the Forest Industry Safety Accord which was successfully launched to the wider trade last week at the APF exhibition in Staffordshire.

Representatives from many of the leading industry organisations formed a steering group and have developed the Accord - which sets out the commitment that the sector can make to raise Health and Safety standards.

HIFIC Chair, Neil Stoddart said: "Improving health and safety in our industry should be a key priority. We must believe that all fatalities and injuries are preventable and we call upon the Highlands forest industry to drive to improve its own safety performance and get firmly behind the new Safety Accord.

The Highlands has led the way with Forest innovation in recent years and I see no reason why we can't do the same when it comes to Health and Safety. There is now a real determination throughout the industry to make a difference."

In addition, delegates will hear from Chris Pike of forest management company UPM, who will outline some of the current accident statistics for the sector and explain what impact an accident can have on an individual or business. To support this a 'survivor' from a forest incident will give a personal perspective on how his life has been impacted.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) provides funding for the cluster and Elaine Hanton, Head of Energy at HIE said: "Nothing can be more important in forestry than safety. We are delighted to support HIFIC as it brings all parts of the industry together from across the region to raise awareness of vital issues, and finds innovative ways to promote good practice."

Sponsorship for the event has been provided by Macrae and Dick Land Rover and prior to the event delegates will have the chance to have short off road driving instruction with experienced instructors from the only Land Rover Experience Centre at Dunkeld.


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