Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Farmers not off the hook on health and safety

Farmers not off the hook on health and safety

It’s a complete fallacy that the farming community doesn’t have to worry about health and safety as a result of proposed changes to the Health and Safety Reform Bill, according to an expert in the field.

Crowe Horwath agri health and safety expert Melissa Vining says the recent hype around proposed changes have monopolised the headlines in recent days with many accusing the government of letting farmers off the hook.

However she is quick to dispel the myth that farmers have been given a mandate to ignore health and safety.

Vining says the classification of high and low risk sectors in particular has been in the media spotlight with backbone farming sectors sheep, beef and dairy being classified as low risk. “This means most farms will not need to appoint a health and safety representative.”

She cautions people not to let the silliness around worm farming and cat breeding being deemed high risk distract from the very real issues of health and safety being addressed by the Bill.

“This is only one small part of the Bill and farmers of all types still need to be aware of and fulfil their obligations regarding health and safety in their businesses.”

Vining stresses that a key element to the bill is to develop an effective working relationship between all parties (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs), officers and workers) and lower the rate of workplace accidents in New Zealand. This is regardless to whether or not there is an appointed workers health and safety representative.

As someone who works with farmers on a daily basis Vining has been disappointed by the attitude portrayed in the coverage of the issue.

“The majority of farmers know they work in an environment which carries risk. They acknowledge that health and safety is critically important and want clear guidance from the Government on what they need to do.”

Vining notes that along with existing requirements there are several key changes proposed which will affect farmers.

• The workplace has been redefined to the area where you are working or where work usually happens, rather than the whole farm.
• All PCBUs will be required to engage with their workers on matters of health and safety that affect them.
• All PCBUs are required to consult with other PCBUs engaging in work on their farm to identify potential hazards / risks and how they will be addressed.

There are huge upsides to getting health and safety right Vining points out.

“First, you’re protecting yourself and your employees from harm. You also minimise the risk of prosecution if there is a workplace incident. Financially farmers can also receive a 10 per cent reduction in ACC levies for a period of three years once their health and safety management plan is accepted and that can be renewed for subsequent three year periods.”

While the changes might seem confusing, farmers are encouraged not to panic by Vining’s colleague former WorkSafe NZ inspector turned health and safety consultant Richard Tattersfield.

“Once the Bill is passed it is expected to come in to force in April 2016. This gives businesses about eight months to get a good understanding of the new legislation,” says Tattersfield.

Lastly, Vining encourages farmers unsure about what impact the proposed changes will have on them to engage with a health and safety consultant or visit the saferfarms.org.nz website which has some excellent free resources.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National's Great Leap Backwards

It isn’t surprising that at the height of its disarray, National should have looked for certainty and picked the least introspective candidate on offer. With Judith Collins, there is absolutely no risk that the leader will suddenly have an angst attack about whether they’re really up to the job. You would have to go all the way back to Robert Muldoon to find a National Party leader less prone to self-doubt, and more willing to use fear as a weapon to maintain discipline within the rank and file... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Todd Muller Resignation

Given the factions within National’s own caucus, anyone picked as the new leader of the National Party will struggle to unify their own troops, let alone to convince the electorate that National is a coherent government-in-waiting. Even all of that ... More>>

Green Party: Unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will: Establish a Clean ... More>>

ALSO:

National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>

ALSO:

RACISM IS NO JOKE: Campaign Launched To Fight Racism Against Asian New Zealanders

Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon has launched the ‘RACISM IS NO JOKE ’ campaign featuring well-known comedian, Filipino New Zealander James Roque. “Since COVID-19, we’ve seen an increase in racism against Chinese and other Asian New ... More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Eenrgy & Environment: Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets

First published in Energy and Environment on June 2, 2020. The latest data on the Government’s attempts to reduce the emissions of its transport fleet show no discernible progress. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s data on reducing ... More>>

Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

David Seymour: ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020

Introduction Thank you very much. Elections in New Zealand – like everywhere - are a very special tradition, because they are driven by you. They’re an opportunity to change your future. If you think about it, the Government doesn’t do much. It ... More>>

Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>

ALSO:


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels