Falling tree seriously hurts track volunteer
The Waimate Trackways Group has hit a stumbling block following a serious accident involving a volunteer.
Bruce White was hit by a falling tree while he was carrying out work with a group of volunteers in Knottingley Park earlier this year.
Jim Rayner, of Waimate Trackways, said this incident was serious. Mr White had received head injuries.
As a result of the incident, Waimate District Council has reviewed the process for voluntary organisations linked with the council. Knottingley Park is council-owned land. The group was given the green light in January to begin construction of tracks plus a $10,000 donation from Rotary towards the project.
Construction of the tracks was to proceed in four stages with most of the work due for completion before winter.
That included a wildlife lookout and a 4.5 kilometre walking track.
Mr Rayner said work had been put on hold.
The council had asked for health and safety plans after the accident, he said.
"It just really tightened everything up.
"We're a group of volunteers and we often didn't have a leader involved and we do need someone there who is responsible and people with safety equipment.
"I think it's been a lesson to us all."
Mayor John Coles said the council had since entered into an agreement with the group.
"Since that time the council has been involved in chainsaw safety courses; they were using chainsaws when it [the accident] happened.
"We have had to have an agreement as to what they will do; we have to make sure people are observing safety procedures. The council employs volunteers for a multitude of things but you've got to make sure they take care of themselves."
- © Fairfax NZ News