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WorkSafe Warns Of Spring Fatalities Spike

WorkSafe is giving farmers a heads up to be mindful of risks on farm this spring.

In spring 2020, fatalities spiked to five during the months of August and September.

Vehicles continue to be the primary source of harm in on farm fatalities. On Monday this week a person was tragically killed in an incident involving a tractor on a farm outside of Oamaru. It is understood the victim was trimming hedges at the time.

WorkSafe Manager for Regulatory Practice Brent Austin strongly urged farmers to consider four key things to avoid a repeat of 2020 as they head into the busier months on farm.

  1. Look at how you are managing fatigue on farm – tired people make mistakes
  2. If your vehicle has a seatbelt, you should be wearing it – almost half of vehicle-related deaths on farm could be avoided if seatbelts were used
  3. Install crush protection on your quad - in many incidents, someone is crushed or unable to escape due to the weight of the bike, contributing to fatal or life-changing injuries
  4. Don’t make assumptions that new staff or those new to the sector know what they are doing around large animals – provide necessary training until you are satisfied that they are competent

“Workplace incidents don’t discriminate between those with experience and those without. Mistakes can be made by even the most experienced operators. We know the pressure is on farmers, particularly considering labour shortages and the need to employ inexperienced, younger or older people to fill the gap, but now is not the time to cut corners where safety may be compromised,” said Austin

“Lastly, but vitally important, safety responsibility sits with everyone. Make sure everyone gets involved in sharing their concerns and ideas for making the farm a safer place”.

Five people have died on New Zealand farms in workplace incidents so far this year.

Age

10/08/2021 - Otago Tractor Incident

04/04/2021 18 Otago Farm vehicle rollover

22/01/2021 66 Otago Ride-on tractor rollover

16/01/2021 89 Hawke's Bay Quad bike rollover

15/01/2021 54 Manawatu-Whanganui Two-wheeled farm bike

Spring fatalities in 2020 included the following –

28/09/2020 33 Hawke's Bay Struck by rolling quad bike

17/09/2020 7 Bay of Plenty Crushed by backing gate

16/09/2020 43 Hawke's Bay Struck by rolling tractor

11/09/2020 79 Waikato Tractor roll over

01/08/2020 64 Taranaki Fell from quad bike

There was a total of 20 on farm fatalities counted by WorkSafe in 2020.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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