FISA Chair reports to members April 2018


FISA Chair reports to members April 2018

Forest owners, both private and public sector, selling timber into the UK timber supply chain continue to benefit from increasing timber prices, as supply fails to meet demand.  With consequences for those with least flexibility to manage cash and work flows, experience suggests pressures like these, impact on time to plan and deliver, in turn leading to accidents.

FISA welcomes the continued support of the HSE, who have announced a round of 50 inspections of forest sites in 2018. The plan for these and outcomes will be publically available and help inform FISA’s strategic priorities and Working Group actions.

Thank you to all members who sought election to the Steering Group and congratulations to those elected.

Ensuring workers using chainsaws are supported, competent and not placed under unreasonable commercial pressures on a daily basis is more important than ever. FISA CEO Gillian Clark will be leading a further two cutter meetings this spring, to North Yorkshire and Ireland.  Calum Duffy joins the chainsaw project as chair of the group, helping to pull together FISA, AFAG and FCA chainsaw groups.

FISA is seeking to encourage forestry investors, forest owners and their agents, to put safety before timber price and informing commercial decision-making.

FISA is establishing a Landowners Working Group this spring, to help draw up guidance to inform planning for timber sale, harvesting and forest establishment operations. This will be used when redrafting of the Guidance in Managing Health & Safety in Forestry (GMHSF), due for completion by the end of 2018.

Safety Guides 706 & 802 are available on the FISA website in the new easier to print style, carrying sponsors logos.  The revised 300 Safety Guides should appear on the FISA website by 30 April 2018 including revision of guidance on felling of hung-up trees.

The publication and launch of the FISA Haulage Manual and reissue of the driver safety booklet were confirmed by Mick Botttomley, chair of the Forest Haulage Working Group, at the March Timber Transport Forum in Inverness.

This meeting highlighted the need and role of planning prior to timber sale to ensure lorry drivers were not put at risk for lack of well-planned infrastructure investment by the landowner.


FISA’s draft accounts for the year-ending 31 September 2017 show a retained surplus on the Balance Sheet of c£25,000.  The Board will remain focussed on cash flow and balance sheet strength and we feel that the finances are now more stable.

Short paying remains a great concern and we appeal to those who are currently paying the minimum subscription and are principals of businesses (Ltd companies) to pay the appropriate annual fee from 1 May 2018.


FISA Steering Group have elected to lift the suspension of both the FCA and Donald Maclean. FISA looks forward to working with the FCA to eliminate death and injury from the timber supply chain.


Alastair Sandels

FISA Chair