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Safety On The Farm CD Launched

15 November 2001

A new CD-Rom highlighting hazards on the farm and safe work practices was launched by ACC Minister Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch today.

The CD, put together by ACC and health and safety management consulting company INTAZ, was launched at the Canterbury A & P Show. It will be mailed to 56,000 employers as part of ACC’s drive to reduce injuries from accidents on the farm.

“ACC has developed robust injury prevention initiatives that are deliberately designed to attract the attention of the New Zealand public. These initiatives are directed across the spectrum of all our communities – on the sports field, in the workplace, around the home, and on our roads.

“Thinksafe” is designed to make us all think twice – we might have grown up with the expression “accidents happen” but the bottom line is that most injuries are preventable.”

Lianne Dalziel said that as agriculture was a vital part of New Zealand’s economic well-being, people who worked in the industry were a valuable resource. Seven people died in the nine months to March 2001 and 1581 people were seriously injured enough to need time off work. That compared with the construction sector, which recorded two fatalities and 1530 serious injuries in the same period.

“Farmers are particularly affected by injury, not only because of the loss of income, but also because of difficulties with finding replacement labour. In addition to coping with the actual cost for replacement farm labour, a worker must be found who is familiar with the farm and current farm practices.

“I hope this CD goes some way to helping farmers and their families keep safe and injury free on the farm. As much as I would like to ban accidents, it’s only people who can prevent them – and what better reason than for your personal safety, your family’s security and New Zealand’s economic development.

“I hope this CD acts as a useful reminder of the WorkSmart steps we can all take on the farm.”


Ends


15 November 2001 Hon Lianne Dalziel Speech

Tapping into Injury Prevention

Launch of Hazard Information CD-ROM for farmers
3pm
Canterbury A & P Association Field Days
Christchurch


Thank you inviting me to join you today as Minister for ACC. Injury Prevention is a subject that I am very passionate about. I believe that it is an issue of vital importance for all New Zealanders, regardless of who they are, where they are, or what activities they’re involved in.
ACC has developed robust injury prevention initiatives that are deliberately designed to attract the attention of the New Zealand public. These initiatives are directed across the spectrum of all our communities – on the sports field, in the workplace, around the home, and on our roads.

“Thinksafe” is designed to make us all think twice – we might have grown up with the expression “accidents happen” but the bottom line is that most are preventable.

You will have seen the boozebuses, and you’ve probably seen the anti drink-driving advertisements on TV and along our roadsides. Hopefully you’ve heard of SportSmart and SunSmart programmes. Well today’s launch is about a WorkSmart programme.

The evaluation of these injury prevention initiatives clearly shows a positive impact, but unfortunately not in all areas.
For instance, there has been a marked reduction in the number of workplace accidents, particularly with large employers.

In the year ended 30 June 1999, there were 29,511 new entitlement claims, costing $72.9 million in the Employer Account. For the year ended 30 June 2001, this figure had dropped to 28,780, with a cost of $70.1 million.

For the self-employed, the evidence is not so positive. Statistics show that the self-employed suffer a fatality rate for work accidents that is almost double that of employees. Last year ACC received 4000 new claims relating to farming accidents. The direct costs of these claims exceeded $33 million.

Farmers are particularly affected by injury, not only because of the loss of income, but also because of difficulties with finding replacement labour. In addition to coping with the actual cost for replacement farm labour, a worker must be found who is familiar with the farm and current farm practices.

We must also not forget the hidden costs to farmers and their families, which we cannot measure or replace – such as trauma and emotional hardship.

The myth of the “healthy worker in agriculture” is simply not matched by the current reality.

Agriculture is a critical industry for New Zealand’s well-being and those who work in the industry are a valuable resource. Accordingly, we all need to work together at reducing injuries and the associated social and economic losses within this sector.

As Minister for ACC, I am committed to increasing the efforts to reduce injuries in farming. I am, therefore, pleased to be involved in this launch of the joint ACC and Intaz Limited initiative. This WorkSmart product will provide farmers with essential information about common farm hazards, and what they can do to keep themselves safe.

I have had an opportunity to look at this programme and while some of the information may seem obvious, that information is presented in a sensible and easy to follow manner. Having never used one before, I now know all about safe chain-saw use, which will be useful in the House! But more importantly, to ensure this information is easily accessible, the CD-Rom is free and is being sent to 56,000 employers. I certainly encourage farmers, farm workers and their families to have a look.

I want to acknowledge the efforts of ACC Injury Prevention and Intaz Ltd staff, which resulted in the development of this CD-Rom. I also extend my acknowledgement to the Federated Farmers of New Zealand, for the practical guidance they provided on this project.

I am sure you will agree that we all look forward to this CD-Rom being of practical help to farmers and helping them to keep themselves safe and injury-free. Because as much as I would like to ban accidents, it’s only people who can prevent them – and what better reason than for your own personal safety, your family’s security and New Zealand’s economic development. I hope this CD-Rom acts as a gentle reminder of the Worksmart steps we can take on the farm. Thank you.


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