ACC, Fed Farm­ers tar­get ac­ci­dents

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

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

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