Teamwork and Mutual Dependency for Forestry Crews in NZ, US & Canada

Among the many high-risk occupations out there, forestry is among the most dangerous

Among the many high-risk occupations out there, forestry is among the most dangerous. Forestry crews throughout New Zealand, the US and Canada realize this risk, which can come at the hands of a series of mechanical and human errors. Among the risks that forestry crew members in  New Zealand, US and Canada face are:

  • Loading, transporting and unloading logs
  • Log extraction
  • Falling (either a person or machine)
  • Falling hazardous trees


Even during infield processing, when a number of plans converge in one setting, there is a great sense of risk and danger involved. Yet despite the variety of risks involved in the forestry industry, there is one common, underlying theme – one area that if addressed and improved upon, would reduce the dangers often seen in this industry.

Teamwork is key to forestry

Many business leaders, project managers, and field supervisors push forth the notion of teamwork. In the end, teamwork is the direct result of effective communication. When your crew is able to clearly communicate with one another, even in the most dangerous of settings, when adrenaline is pumping, teamwork will be established and strengthened. As a result, the safety of your workers will increase exponentially.

Establishing safety through open lines of communication

In one of the most glaringly ironic circumstances known to man, the safety of your crew members is put mostly at risk by other people around him or her. That being said, while people are part of the problem, they can also become a part of the solution. Taking part in a workplace safety program that’s customized to the forestry industry provides you the skills and foundation necessary to make changes while in the field. Seminars, like the one provided by AACT-NOW throughout New Zealand and North America, will guide you toward increased productivity and efficiency while minimizing the level of risk in a line of work where risk is common practice. An established workplace safety program will guide you towards a holistic approach to change. This means opening up the lines of communication between you and your crew.

Relying on others to ensure your own safety

In forestry, men work side by side with each other, often inches and seconds away from danger and death. It is only because of the abilities of their colleagues, as well as the faith they place in their colleagues, that ensures their safety. How, then, can you ensure that your forestry crew members have the confidence to rely on one another when it matters most? Establishing an environment that breeds collaboration and dependency is key. Many people see how this works within an office setting, because most seminars are geared toward the office workplace. However, not only is a collaborative environment possible in the forestry industry – it’s a matter of life or death. Few office workers can make that same claim. Hence why it’s vital that New Zealand, US and Canadian forestry crews begin – today – to establish an environment that encourages dependency. This includes ensuring that each member of your crew is fully capable at his or her tasks, and that there is a clear process in place for if, and when, an emergency strikes. The surest way toward safety is by planning for the inevitable. By creating several safety plans – and involving your crew in the design of these plans – you can do two things:

  1. You’ll establish safety plans that address all potential what’ifs of the forestry industry
  2. You’ll involve your crew in the process, which will strengthen teamwork and camaraderie

The forestry industry can be a safer place, through teamwork and dependency

All of the fancy equipment and newest technologies out there might serve to make your job easier, or more efficient. But the safety of you and your crew still comes down to one fundamental and human trait: teamwork. The crew, as a whole, won’t work, until the crew, as individuals, learns how to trust and work with one another. AACT-NOW provides training programs and seminars that are customized and tailored to the unique needs of the forestry industry. Contact us today for more information. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blmoregon/ Creative commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode