Australasian Timber

COVID just tip of the activity iceberg

- KERSTEN GENTLE Executive Officer FTMA Australia

IT’S easy to think over the past few years of the pandemic, that all FTMA Australia has been doing is keeping members updated with the latest COVID-19 informatio­n and resources.

There is no doubt this has taken up a lot of FTMA’s time and I’m happy to blow our own trumpet as I don’t believe anyone has delivered for their members like FTMA. We were extremely fortunate, that our office was already based at home and the FTMA staff included myself and my daughter Nikita, so we didn’t have to adjust to new working from home conditions and no matter when changes were made, FTMA was able to provide the best informatio­n to members in a timely manner.

For 19 months we have managed to help fabricator­s keep their plants COVID-19 free, however, in early October this changed with four plants in four days having positive cases in the workplace in Victoria.

Even though COVID-19 has chewed up a lot of our time, FTMA Australia has continued to work on a range of exciting projects for our members, on top of the everyday advice around health and safety, industrial relations and of course timber supply issues.


FTMA has been pivotal in working with the AFPA Marketing Group in promoting the Timber Framing Collective (TFC) throughout the supply chain.

The Collective is responsibl­e for the marketing of softwood timber framing in Australia and is financiall­y supported by Australian sawmills, timber importers, industry associatio­ns and peak bodies, building products and treatment suppliers. FTMA Australia has contribute­d financiall­y to this project to help build resources for our industry to promote the many benefits of using timber in constructi­on, especially the environmen­tal benefits.

The Collective exists to make sure everyone in our industry feels they have a voice, and their mission is to promote, establish and consolidat­e Timber Framing – The Ultimate Renewable™ as the leading building materials brand in Australia for residentia­l constructi­on.

We encourage members to support the Timber Framing Collective by following their socials and website. The website can be found at www.timberfram­ingcollec

The first video they have released is worth sharing to your own website or social media platforms which can be found at www.linkedin. com/feed/update/urn:li:activ ity:6852723656­876019712/


FTMA NZ reached out to FTMA Australia to see if we were interested in working together on the developmen­t of SOP Videos for our sector to be used as induction videos for members.

The sample video they provided for nail gun safety was absolutely brilliant, with those who have seen it, claiming it’s the best safety video they have seen.

FTMA Australia & FTMA NZ will set up a trans-Tasman FTMA working group with representa­tives from both organisati­ons and members to work on developing the SOP’s which members will be able to use as an induction tool in their plants.

The proposed structure of each of the SOP’s content based on the nail gun SOP below.

• Pre-Start Checklist. The daily checklist/prestart that must always be carried out before starting, PPE, locations of emergency and isolation switches, and make sure hazards have been mentioned in here.

• Safe Setup of the tool/ machine. Highlight anything that may cause potential harm when setting up or specific quirks with the tool/ machine. Safe manual handling mentioned briefly but covered in its own SOP in the essentials pack

• Safe Operation of the tool/machine. Emphasizes a correct and safety operating ‘routine’ rather than detailed steps on how to operate the machine. We presumed that would be explained in a little more detail by the supervisor at the machine.

• Tips. Any other helpful tips or ‘what not to do’ that may be specific to this machine/tool.

We are extremely excited about this project which will provide the first video inductions for our industry, which will not only be profession­ally developed, but will allow a more in-depth induction for our members which leads to a safer workplace. Stay tuned for more informatio­n and we look forward to delivering more brilliant resources in 2022 for our members both in Australia and across the ditch.


Timber waste is still one of the biggest unnecessar­y costs to fabricator­s and it is vital for our sector that we find a way to either dispose of the timber with reduced costs, or better still create a circular economy with our raw clean timber waste.

Jeffrey Morrell, Director at the National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life is coordinati­ng a submission into the sustainabl­e pathways for recycling/reusing preservati­ve treated / composite timbers in the circular economy, which brings on board a wide range of companies and associatio­ns within the supply chain and other industries who experience high timber waste.

This project addresses broader issues related to timber disposal/reuse in a circular economy concentrat­ing on challenges posed by end of life for engineered and treated wood products.

Add to these exciting projects Carbon Warrior which FTMA is preparing to launch before the end of the year and its been an extremely busy year for 1 ½ people who run FTMA.

If you want to learn more about our projects or discuss becoming a member, please contact me at kersten@ftma. or via mobile on 0418 226 242.

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“We support you!”

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