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Appl Ergon. 2002 Sep;33(5):395-403.

The role of the New Zealand forest industry injury surveillance system in a strategic ergonomics, safety and health research programme.

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Forestry is among the most hazardous of all industry sectors internationally. In New Zealand, highest work-related morbidity and mortality incidence rates are found in the logging sector. The New Zealand Forest Industry Accident Reporting Scheme (ARS) is a forestry injury surveillance system maintained by the Centre for Human Factors and Ergonomics (COHFE). The paper highlights the pivotal role of an industry-wide injury surveillance system in an industry-specific strategic research programme, giving examples of the use of ARS data in identification of priority areas for ergonomics, safety and health research attention, for safety awareness feedback to the industry, and in the evaluation of injury countermeasures. An analysis of injury patterns and trends for one high-risk forestry operation (skid work) is presented to illustrate both the capabilities and limitations of the ARS in its present stage of development.

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