National forest safety director appointed

24 July 2015


Pictured: Fiona Ewing

A National Safety Director, Fiona Ewing, has been appointed to advance the work of the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC).

This is a key role in the recently-formed Council, set-up to lead safety culture change and to drive improvement in safety performance across the sector.

Ms Ewing has 30 years' experience as a health and safety professional in a wide range of industries including energy, engineering, construction, agriculture and forestry in the United Kingdom. Her most recent position was Group Manager Health Safety Environment and Quality for Powerco.

Her career began with the UK regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), where she worked in the Forestry National Interest Group. This involved working with the forestry industry to develop and implement best practice guidelines.

FISC chair, Dame Alison Paterson, welcomed the appointment. "Fiona is a health and safety leader who has the practical capability, strategic skills and vision needed to pursue FISC's goal of zero harm and I look forward to working closely with her."

FISC is a not-for-profit organisation that includes representatives of all those who can influence forest safety – forest owners, farm foresters, contractors, workers, unions, government and WorkSafe NZ. Establishing the council was a key recommendation of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel that reviewed forest safety in 2014.

The council has been set up with an establishment board, which will step aside at the first meeting of the full board on 28 July. It is funded jointly by forest owners and the government.

Ms Ewing will start work for the council in early October, following an orientation period during which she will meet many of the major players in forest safety.

Source: Forest Industry Safety Council media release