Fed Farmers, ACC in farm accident push
Awork injury can end a farmer’s days on the land, so ACC has teamed up with Federated Farmers to launch a new campaign to raise awareness of the human causes of accidents.
In an effort to understand the factors that lead to injuries on farms, ACC has been carrying out field research as part of a programme called Human Factors In Farming.
ACC has been reviewing near-miss situations and accidents to see what we can learn about them.
Case studies based on these preventable accidents will be published in rural publications between now and February. Federated Farmers national board member and health and safety spokesman David Rose will also be talking on rural radio shows about the factors that lead to on-farm accidents.
‘‘Thinking about safety is something we should all reflect on every day as a matter of course, because accidents can happen to anyone any day when you least expect it, as happened to me recently.
‘‘Wearing my full-face helmet, I jumped off my quad bike, which is something I do all the time, and landed awkwardly because I wasn’t looking down and sprained my ankle badly. This injury happened during lambing, which is my busiest season, so I had to pay for additional help on the farm at a significant cost to myself,’’ said David.
To help farmers learn from preventable accidents like this they can request a Human Factors in Farming review, a free service run by Farmsafe and Asurequality on behalf of ACC. As part of the programme, rural advisers confidentially review near-misses or accidents with the farmer involved.
After visiting the farm and talking to the farmer, the rural advisers then send the farmer a report which breaks down the incident and highlights the key factors which contributed to it.
Recommendations are provided to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future.
ACC general manager insurance and prevention services Keith Mclea said that about 18,700 New Zealand farmers were injured last year while at work. Tragically, 16 of these injuries proved fatal.
‘‘Farm-related injuries and deaths cost ACC nearly $65 million last year alone and the cost to the farmers and their families is significant, particularly if the injury ends a farmer’s career on the land.
‘‘Our research has shown that tiredness, time pressures, poor maintenance of equipment or bad choices were common factors in preventable accidents,’’ said Mr Mclea.
Preventing workplace injuries is even more important since experience rating was introduced on 1 April 2011.
Experience rating is a system which provides discounts on levies for businesses with a better claims history, and loadings for those with a poor workplace safety record. Smaller businesses, with levies of less than $10,000, can receive a no-claims discount of 10 per cent provided they’ve had no weekly compensation or fatal injury claims over the previous three years.
To receive help on reviewing a recent farm accident contact Farmsafe on 0800 545 747 or Asurequality on 0508 00 11 22.