Farm work­ers most at risk from in­juries

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

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.

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