Beyond physical health and safety: supporting the wellbeing of workers employed in the forest industry

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    Abstract

    A healthy, productive and resilient workforce is important to any industry, and supporting thewellbeing of workers is a key factor in achieving this.Worldwide, the forest industry is amongst the most physically dangerous industries to work in. Workplace health and safety strategies have traditionally focused on improving the physical safety of forestry workplaces. It is equally important to consider the broader wellbeing of workers, not only to ensure their quality of life, but also to support a healthyand sustainable workforce with lowturnover. To do this, it is critical to understand the work-related factors that affect workerwellbeing.We examine this via a survey of workers in the Australian forest industry.We find that work-related factors known to influencewellbeing in other industries, such as income, job security and workplace culture, are strongly correlated with forest worker wellbeing, that negative perceptions of the forest industry by those outside it are associated with lower levels of workerwellbeing and that the extent to which a forest industry worker has a strong work-related social identity is associated with their wellbeing. Our findings highlight the importance of implementing workplace strategies that consider wellbeing in broader terms than the traditional focus on physical safety.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalForestry
    Volume2015
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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