Forestry continues to be one of the most hazardous industrial sectors in most
countries. Around the world, there are often discouraging trends of rising accident
rates and a high incidence of occupational diseases and of early retirement among
forestry workers. However, clear evidence shows that good safety and health
performance in forestry is feasible. Many ILO constituents recognize that safety at
work is not only an ethical imperative, but that it makes "dollars and sense". In
forestry, it is also a prerequisite for environmentally sound management and
utilization of natural resources. Significantly, these governments, enterprises,
employers' and workers' organizations are willing to do something about it.
This code is not a legally binding instrument intended to supersede national
legislation. It has been designed to provide guidance to ILO constituents in their
endeavour to improve the safety and health performance of their national forestry
sectors or enterprises. The code is based on state-of-the-art international
experience, and is intended to be relevant and practicable in most countries and
enterprises. It aims to protect workers from hazards in forestry work and to prevent
or reduce the incidence of occupational illness or injury. It contains useful ideas
even for countries and enterprises with well-developed prevention strategies, but is
especially valuable for those that lack relevant regulations and guidelines.
The present code of practice was drawn up by a meeting of experts from major
timber-producing countries, held in Geneva from 23 to 30 September 1997. In
accordance with a decision of the ILO's Governing Body at its 265th Session
(March 1996), the meeting was composed of 30 experts, ten following
consultations with governments, ten following consultations with the Employers'
group and ten following consultations with the Workers' group of the Governing
1 Experts nominated by governmen ts:
Mr. André Luiz Cardoso Morais, Coord inator for Inspection and Standardizatio n, Office for
Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Labour, Brasilia (Brazil).
Mr. Clay Perry, Consultant, Government of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada).
Mr. Manuel Parra Garrido, Chief of the Working Conditions and Environment Unit, Labour Office,
Inspection Department, Santiago (Chile).
Mr. Josef Bozovsky, Official, Labour Inspectorate for South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice (Czech
Mr. Bernard Obiang Ossoubita, Inspector-Genera l of Occupational Health and Medicine, Mi nistry of
Labour, Employment and Vocational Training, Libreville (Gabon).
Mr. Musri Mohtar, Deputy Director, Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia, Kuala
Mr. Azlan Yusof, Counsellor for Labour Affair s, Permanent Mission of Malaysia, Ge neva,
Mr. Bernard Collings, Forestry Officer, Department of Labour, Whangarei, North Island (New