The loss of Niko O'Neill Brooking-Hodgson represents a "sad and unnecessary" reality of the forestry industry, says FIRST Union organiser transport, logistics and manufacturing Dan Epiha-Netana.
Coroner Donna Llewell has released her findings into the death of Niko, who was struck by a line that suddenly came free.
She made recommendations to WorkSafe and MBIE.
They include that the industry's ACOP (Approved Code of Practice) should include the operation of line retrieval as an operational risk, separate from line shifting.
Also that the use of a straw line (a light cable used to haul heavier cables to move, secure, or put down a load) becomes mandatory.
Niko, 24, from East Coast (Ngāti Porou) was living in Napier when he died from head and chest injuries sustained in the forestry accident on August 22, 2016.
He was part of a crew, employed with DG Glenn Logging Limited as Head Breaker Out, working in the Esk Forest, at the Pohokura Block, Te Haroto, situated northwest of Napier, near the Mohaka River.
The findings state that Niko had been undertaking a line retrieval operation in order to move a log hauler to another landing site.
As the line was being hauled, a 9kg metal D-shackle attached to the line became snagged, and tension was put on to it by the hauler driver to try to get it free.
As it dislodged from the snag, the released tension caused it and the line to jettison towards Niko, striking him in the chest and head.
The coroner made several recommendations but she was satisfied that the benefits of a straw line were "real and tangible and outweighed" by the time and expense involved.
"The hazards and risks of its use can be mitigated by astute use and the proviso not to overload the straw line."
Epiha-Netana said a "good outcome" from the coroner's inquest was the recommendation to review and update of the Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations (ACOP), also known as the 'bushman's bible'.
"I believe this is a good step, but it won't fix all of the pressing issues within the industry by itself."
He said there was a concern that the Forestry Industry Safety Council, which was created after the forestry inquiry report of 2014 to work through the inquiry's recommendations, had not been successful in reducing the death rate within the industry, and that continued self-regulation would mean "more hesitation about much-needed changes" in the industry.
"A substantive change that could be made concerns controlled hours of operation – for example, with truck drivers' maximum hours worked, there needs to be a maximum 12-hour day which includes travel time from home to work site.
"Greater support and training are also required to empower forestry workers to make decisions on when to stop life-threatening work without the concern of reprisal from either the contract or forestry owner."