Fed Farm­ers, ACC in farm ac­ci­dent push

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

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.

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