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Hundreds of forest workers receiving serious or even fatal injuries: ECE/FAO/ILO Network points the way forward

Published: 05 June 2007

There are still hundreds of serious even fatal accidents in forestry work all over the UNECE region, although specialists in occupational safety and health have a clear idea of how to reduce them, notably through reinforced training and better enforced safety procedures. The Second International Conference on Safety and Health in Forestry, organized by France and Switzerland on 23-25 May 2007 in Annecy, France under the auspices of the Joint FAO/ECE/ILO Experts Network on Implementing Sustainable Forest Management, brought together 70 participants from 4 continents to share experience and map out realistic strategies.

The main recommendations are:

  • Networking, coordinated actions and partnerships have to be strengthened in order to get concrete results in the future.
  • A European Certificate of Qualification recognized by professionals (ENFE) and the training centres at a European level should be created.
  • Safety training must also involve the management level in order to make sure that safety becomes an issue of high importance within the management system.
  • The training of forest workers of private forests has to be enforced by several means.
  • Another meeting on the same theme should take place in about 5 years, for example in a country in transition.

Christian Salvignol, leader of the Expert Network stated that he hoped that the conference's recommendations would be taken up at the policy level, as real progress in removing this stain on the sector's reputation, which discourages potential workers from joining the labour force, is impossible without political will and adequate resources.

For more information contact Mr. Christian SALVIGNOL at +33 (0)4 90 77 88 00 or or visit the Conference's website

Ref: ECE/TIM/07/PO3

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