Health and safety awareness among logging operators and workers in Sarawak is to be stepped up.

The Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation safety section head Dr Elli Luhat said the fatality rate has decreased – there are now four to give deaths per one million m3 of timber produceed compared with six to seven deaths 20 years ago. Sarawak produces an average of 13 million m3 of timber a year.

However, Dr Elli said developed timber producing countries such as Canada and New Zealand had only one fatality for every three million m3 and proposed stepping up the campaign to improve Sarawak’s record.

Proposals include talking to logging companies and local communities and setting up a safety committee.