ACC, Fed Farmers target accidents
Federated Farmers national board member and health and safety spokesman David Rose is calling on farmers to make simple changes that will help prevent future accidents.
A New Zealand farmer is injured on the job every 28 minutes and every 23 days a farmer dies from a work-related accident.
These are the stark facts behind a new campaign by ACC and Federated Farmers to raise awareness of the human causes of on-farm accidents.
Trying to understand the factors that lead to farm injuries, ACC has been doing field research as part of a programme called ‘‘human factors in farming’’. It has used techniques developed by psychologists from Scotland’s Keil Centre to review near-miss situations and accidents to see what can be learned about them, to help prevent a repeat.
Case studies will be published in November and February next year.
Federated Farmers national board member and health and safety spokesman David Rose is calling on farmers to reflect on accidents and make simple changes that will help prevent future 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." Rose said he had an accident recently. He was wearing a full-face helmet and jumped off his quad bike like he had done many times before, landed awkwardly because he was not looking down and badly sprained his ankle.
"What made it worse was 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," Rose said.
ACC general manager insurance and prevention services Keith Mclea said around 18,700 New Zealand farmers were injured last year while at work. Sixteen of these injuries were 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 pressure, poor maintenance of equipment or bad choices were common factors in preventable accidents.
‘‘Taking the time to plan ahead, to maintain your equipment, to drive your quad bike round the long way instead of straight up the hill in extreme weather or leaving that irritable cow for another day, are all good choices that could prevent an injury, as well as saving you time and money in the long run," Mclea said.
For help on reviewing a recent farm accident contact Farmsafe on 0800545747 or Asurequality on 0508001122.
– Keith Mclea