Farm workers most at risk from injuries
More workers are killed and injured on farms than any other industry, making farming more dangerous than forestry WorkSafe New Zealand says.
WorkSafe launched its ‘‘Safer Farms’’ initiative near Feilding last Wednesday.
Safer Farms is a multi- year programme designed to help farmers manage health and safety risks.
Speaking to about 50 farmers and members of Federated Farmers, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, and DairyNZ, Worksafe senior adviser Bryan Williams said 41 farmers had died in the past two years, with one in five suffering injuries that put them off work.
That was four times the number of fatalities in either forestry or construction.
‘‘The dairy sector has the highest number of all industries, and drystock is third after forestry,’’ Williams said.
Worksafe was interested in working with farmers, rather than regulating them.
‘‘Rather than issue rules to get farmers to follow, we have formed partnerships and we’ll make appointments to see farmers to try to get them to think about safety,’’ he said.