Minister welcomes launch of Safer FarmsWorkplace Relations and Safety
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse today welcomed the launch of the government’s Safer Farms programme.
Safer Farms is a multi-year programme designed by farmers and the wider agricultural sector, WorkSafe New Zealand and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
“The death and injury rate behind the farm gate is simply unacceptable. Someone is killed nearly every fortnight - this needs to change,” Mr Woodhouse says.
“Safer Farms is a new way of tackling a long standing problem hurting rural New Zealand. It’s about education, awareness and support for rural communities.”
120 people have been killed working on our farms since 2008, with four times as many fatalities last year compared to the forestry or construction industries.
“The number of deaths and injuries on farms won’t be reduced by the Government sending out more inspectors. Only farmers can directly influence this toll and Safer Farms aims to help them do this by finding health and safety solutions that work.
“Farmers have told us they want more information and engagement, so Safer Farms will work with farmers and rural communities to manage their own health and safety.”
Safer Farms takes the health and safety message directly to rural communities – through rural retailer education, school programmes, ‘how to’ sessions at field days, and rural industry groups who we will help to provide onsite training.
“The government is committed to reducing workplace death and serious injury and Safer Farms will help us achieve this in the farming industry, while maintaining the quality and production of our primary industries which contribute significantly to our economy.”
The Safer Farms programme includes an easy-to-use toolkit and a comprehensive online resource – www.saferfarms.org.nz – so that farmers have clear health and safety advice, and information.