Loggers’ impressive ‘no accident’ record

Loggers’ impressive ‘no accident’ record
Valintine Logging is based in Inglewood servicing the Taranaki region and sometimes further afield if the opportunity comes knocking.

Valintine Logging has clocked up an impressive safety record by taking a pragmatic practical approach to the issue.
The company has had zero accidents in the past 24 years and company owner Tom Valintine has personally had no accidents after working in the industry for 50 years.
He says the key is to keep communication lines open, taking the appropriate measures and the time to do each part of the job properly and address any concerns. Everything is meticulously planned and training is key so that everyone knows the expectations, says Tom.
For Tom, safety is integral to how Valintine Logging does the job – so much so he was surprised to realise the company’s impressive safety record when it was pointed out to him.
“I hadn’t really given that much thought. We just do the job on a day to day basis keeping health and safety at the forefront,” he says. As workers in the logging industry aren’t typically office type people, Tom says that paperwork based health and safety systems can be quite counter productive.
“You can have all the paperwork you like but for many that won’t change attitudes, as they are not interested in reading and doing bookwork.
“It’s about keeping an eye on each other and pointing things out during the day, taking the extra time if necessary, slowing down.
“I see young guys come in and rush all the time. You need to slow down and do things right.”
Tom says that he considers it time well spent: “It might take a bit longer to do the job but if you do have an accident there is downtime etc in addition to the personal cost of someone being injured. The whole scenario can be very expensive.”
Logging is in Tom’s blood – his great uncle and father had both worked in the timber industry and so it was no surprise when Tom left school he decided to join his father’s sawmilling business, Valintine Sawmilling, started in 1946.
When Tom’s father retired and sold the business Tom carried on the logging side of things and started Valintine Logging with wife Marian in 1994. Son Chris joined the business a year later.

Loggers’ impressive ‘no accident’ record
Valintine Logging harvests and prepares the logs on site with a range of specialised equipment.

Based at Inglewood, Valintine Logging is involved in many aspects of the industry covering the Taranaki region and further afield depending on the job or opportunity.
The company buys and sells woodlots – either direct or through a log broker. It also takes care of the whole process for clients, who are mainly farmers, from harvest to sale.
Tom also manages numerous forestry blocks where farmers supply the land, Valintines plants, prunes and harvests the trees then shares the profits.
Valintine Logging harvests and prepares the logs on site with a range of equipment including excavators, a static de-limber for removing limbs from trees and a four axel forwarder to transport logs to a waiting truck. With concerns growing about the environment Tom says that the correct planning is essential.
Once again it’s about taking the time to do the job right and leaving a tidy site behind.
“Get it on the ground safely and then clean up,” says Tom. Valintine Logging employs a small talented team with a lot of industry experience totalling well over 100 years. Tom is on the job working alongside the crew while Marian takes care of the administrative aspects of the business. Tom reflects that working in the timber industry has been a good life: “I’ve always enjoyed this work. The bush is in my blood; it’s a lifestyle.”
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