The Forestry Industry in South Africa employs an estimated 59 000 people, either through direct employment with timber growers or through employment by forestry contractors. Given the nature of forestry operations, which can be potentially dangerous for those working in them, the Industry places a high priority on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its workers exposed to such threats. Rigorous enforcement of health and safety measures in the workplace are therefore standard practice within the Industry which have ensured that employee illnesses and injuries are kept to a minimum. In recognition of the importance of health and safety issues within the Industry and the benefit derived from sharing ideas amongst members, FSA established a Health & Safety Working Group to co-ordinate Industry efforts related to health and safety matters in the broader sense.
The FSA Health and Safety Working Group was only established in 2019 and is chaired by FSA. It is comprised of representatives (usually Health and Safety Managers) from the major forestry companies in the Industry. As with other similar structures, meetings are held on an ad hoc basis if and when the need arises.
The overall objective of this Working Group is to continually improve worker health and safety in the Forestry workplace.