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Rural Contractors welcomes WorkSafe NZ

Media Release

17 December 2013

Rural Contractors welcomes WorkSafe NZ

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) has welcomed the arrival of the newly established WorkSafe NZ – a key plank in workplace health and safety reforms.

“As a responsible industry organisation, Rural Contractors NZ is keen to work alongside WorkSafe NZ to better ensure the safety of all our members and their staff,” says RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton.

He says both employers and employees have an important part to play in improving safety in the workplace.  

“It is not only about providing employees with a safer work place, but also the business owner/employer who must be safe as well,” Mr Parton emphasises.

“The attitude towards ensuring workplace safety has sometimes not been seen as a priority for some in the agricultural sector and this is an attitude that needs to change.  Unfortunately, the agricultural sector is one of the five sectors targeted by WorkSafe NZ because it has a bad work safety record.”

Mr Parton adds that rural contractors as well as their staff need to be as vigilant with maintaining their own safety in the workplace, as they are with maintaining their machinery.

“We must not forget that our people are our biggest asset and we need to be doing everything possible to ensure their health and safety while at work. Unsafe work practices are unacceptable and a danger to both our lives and our livelihoods.” 

Mr Parton says WorkSafe NZ has already commenced work with the agricultural sector to develop guidelines to improve safety in the sector and RCNZ has been heavily involved in this. 

“What we need to get is acceptance from everyone involved in the business – from the office, through to the farmers we work for, to staff out  in the field – of the collective and personal responsibility for health and safety.”

He says rural contractors are acutely aware of the need for robust and safe workplace practices and most have already implemented major safety initiatives and plans.

“RCNZ signed up to the Partnership Plan for the Agriculture sector – under the old Department of Labour. But all we need open to new ideas about how we can do things better and further improve workplace safety.”

Mr Parton says RCNZ is looking forward to further developing and fostering its relationship with WorkSafe NZ to help keep rural contractors and their staff safe while at work.

“Strong leadership is needed from all rural contractors and a 100% commitment to safety from all of involved in the industry to ensure our work environment remains safe.” 


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