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The data analysis, completed by WorkSafe, revealed that not wearing seatbelts while on the job was the largest single factor contributing to fatal work-related accidents.
It reveals that non-seatbelt use was relevant in 40% of vehicle-related fatalities on farm.
WorkSafe says that of every ten fatalities where seatbelt use may have been relevant, nine people weren’t wearing them.
They also claim that if all agricultural workers wore seatbelts, claim costs to ACC could be reduced by almost $2 million per year.
The data analysis coincides with the launch of a new side-by-side vehicle simulator which will spend the next six months travelling New Zealand’s agricultural Fielddays and featuring in the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition.
The simulator allows a driver to sit in the seat of a retired side-by-side vehicle and navigate a series of farm safety tasks while driving an off-road course. The first task is putting on your seatbelt.
“Putting on your seatbelt is the simplest task and one we practice easily when driving on the open road,” says Al McCone, WorkSafe engagement lead for agriculture.
“If we can get people doing this on farm as well – we will see lives saved.”
Today, the side-by-side began its road trip underneath the sails at Queens Wharf in Wellington, where WorkSafe invited key agricultural stakeholders the chance to try out the simulator before it headed into provincial New Zealand.
“We know that we need all of an industry to get on board with improving health and safety for us to see results. That’s why we seized the opportunity to get some of the city-based agricultural representatives on board,” says McCone.