Forest death: Man named

By Dana Kinita -
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FILE
FILE

A man killed in a forestry incident yesterday has been identified as David Charles Beamsley, aged 63, from Murupara.

Mr Beamsley died in what police said appeared to have been a tree felling accident in the Kaingaroa Forest near Murupara yesterday afternoon.

The matter has been referred to the Coroner.

Northern Police Communications Inspector Shawn Rutene said police received a report of an incident about 5.10pm yesterday. Mr Rutene said there was no other person involved.

Police officers remained on the scene for several hours last night as part of their investigation.

The accident was being investigated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

There have now been eight forestry-related work deaths in New Zealand this year, according to Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment statistics.

This latest death brings the tally to nine in the Bay of Plenty over the past five years.

According to figures published by the Chief Coroner's office this month, the forestry sector has the nation's highest rate of workplace injury deaths.

There was an average of five fatalities a year between 2007-2013.

The number of serious incidents was also rising. The 188 serious-harm notifications last year were the highest number in five years.

A Rotorua coroner's joint inquest into four Bay of Plenty deaths and a sector-led safety review will both be carried out next year, in the hope of casting light on health and safety issues within the industry, and making recommendations for change.

The latest death came as a two-day Forest Industry Safety Summit began in Rotorua, aiming to address industry and government concerns around forestry safety.

The Forest Industry Engineering Association's John Stulen was unaware of the death when contacted last night and did not wish to comment.


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