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Safety first this harvest season

28 November 2007

Media Release

Safety first this harvest season

Farm owners are being urged to keep safety top of mind during the pressure of harvesting season.

One of New Zealand’s largest rural insurers, NZI, says lack of preparation before harvesting season begins can be a recipe for accidents.

For example, a tractor fire can halt harvest activities in an instance. Tractor fires often happen over the summer period causing extensive damage and lost time during one of the busiest farming seasons of the year.

Here are some tips to help farmers protect their vehicles from fire loss this summer:

- clean tractors and harvesters and remove any material that has accumulated over winter

- clean dust and crop residue from the bearings of the harvester

- visually inspect vehicles and machinery daily before use for any overnight bird nests

- wash down tractors and harvesters regularly to avoid grime build up

- ensure fire extinguishers are in working order and carry a fire extinguisher in the tractor cab

- carry a mobile phone so that fire assistance can be called immediately

- ensure all farm vehicles are well maintained, fully serviced and working efficiently.

Head of NZI Ian Foy said farmers need to develop a simple safety plan, including fire prevention, as part of their harvesting preparations.

“We receive many rural vehicle fire claims at this time of the year when equipment is being extensively used for crop farming, harvesting and hay making – often for long periods at a time”, he says.

“Farmers should make sure their insurance is up to date in case of damage to their machinery. The cost of replacing tractors can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and operations can grind to a halt causing farm owners’ cash flow to suffer.”

Insurance brokers are best placed to provide a professional assessment of farmers’ insurance and risk management needs and consideration of what is insurable.

About NZI
NZI is one of New Zealand’s largest and longest-serving fire and general insurance brands. NZI is also one of the largest commercial insurance brands in New Zealand, with a nationwide broker distribution network. NZI is a business division of IAG New Zealand Limited, New Zealand’s largest general insurer.

NZI, winner insurer of the year 2007, Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand

ENDS

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