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Preliminary communication

What are the current characteristics of safety and quality of forest work in Croatia?

Ivan Martinić
Boris Radočaj

Full text: croatian pdf 125 Kb


page 25-30

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The paper addresses different aspects of safety in forestry work during the transformation and transition period of Croatian forestry. To assess the current status of safety and quality of forestry work in Croatia, the following should be taken into account: Þ As regards safety and worker protection indicators, forestry holds an unenviably high place in Croatia in terms of work injuries and occupational diseases, as well as in terms of the number of work invalids, Þ With the exception of those employed in the state forestry company, all other workers-contractors (private entrepreneurs, forest owners, local population) engaged in forestry activities are excluded from any system of safety and health protection, Þ The prevailing working method in forestry consists of non-standardized working procedures and/or various sub-variants of technological processes, Þ There is still no secondary vocational education for forest workers and neither is there any systematic research in the field of forest work, Þ There are no professional criteria and rules designed to regulate work quality and safety of forest activities. According to injury statistics in the state forest company, which manages about 2 million hectares of forests, an average of about 500 workers are injured every year, about 15,000 days are lost due to injuries, and work protection costs for about 10,000 employees amount to approximately 3 million EUR, which accounts for 1.14% of overall losses of the company. This is about 300 EUR per employee, or about 650 EUR per production worker. In the structure of injury causes, two thirds of all injuries are caused by falls during movement, or by unsafe practices and disregard for work safety rules. Asignificant, although unknown, extent of injuries suffered by workers employed by private forest contractors arouses special concern. These workers perform over 50% of the annual amount of work related to timber harvesting, extraction and transport in Croatia. The selection of a contractor is basically determined by the lowest price and not by the quality and business expertise. In order to improve the safety and health of forest workers, introduction of licensing of forest work contractors is being proposed. The system of licensing forest work contractors is currently at a standstill due to sluggish establishment of organizational and personnel prerequisites for licensing. This justifies criticism levelled at the forestry sector of not caring sufficiently for the level of professionalism and care in forestry activities.


forestry; safety and health of workers; occupational injuries; licensing

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