Tuesday, 10 February 2015 09:35

Minister welcomes launch of Safer Farms

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Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse has welcomed the launch of the government's Safer Farms programme.

 Safer Farms is a multi-year programme designed by farmers and the wider agricultural sector, WorkSafe New Zealand and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

"More people die working on farms than in any other industry in New Zealand and too many are seriously injured. Safer Farms aims to change that," Woodhouse says.

"Safer Farms is a new way of tackling a long standing problem hurting rural New Zealand. It's about education, awareness and support for rural communities."

One hundred and twenty people have been killed working on New Zealand farms since 2008, with four times as many fatalities last year compared to the forestry or construction industries.

"The death and injury rate behind the farm gate is simply unacceptable. Someone is killed every fortnight - this needs to change," says Woodhouse

The problem cannot be resolved by increasing the number of inspectors, he says. Only farmers can directly influence the toll and Safer Farms aims to help them do this by finding health and safety solutions that work.

"Farmers have told us they want more information and engagement, so Safer Farms will work with farmers and rural communities to manage their own health and safety," he says.

Safer Farms takes the health and safety message directly to rural communities – through rural retailer education, school programmes, 'how to' sessions at field days, and rural industry groups who we will help to provide onsite training.

"The government is committed to reducing workplace death and serious injury and Safer Farms will help us achieve this in the farming industry, while maintaining the quality and production of our primary industries which contribute significantly to our economy."

The Safer Farms programme includes an easy-to-use toolkit and a comprehensive online resource – www.saferfarms.org.nz – so that farmers have clear health and safety advice, and information.

WorkSafe is holding series of events around New Zealand over the next two weeks, to mark the start of Safer Farms. Details on the regional launch events are outlined below. Contact WorkSafe NZ if you wish to attend.




Time of event


Te Puke

Kiwi 360

Tuesday 10 February

1100 - 1300


Wairakaia Station

Tuesday 10 February

1100 - 1300


Wairaki Institute of Technology

Wednesday 11 February

1100 - 1300

Havelock North

Hawea Farm

Wednesday 11 February

1100 - 1300


The Barn at Claudelands

Thursday 12 February

1100 - 1300


Tapawera Rugby Clubrooms

Thursday 12 February

1100 - 1300


The Supershed

Tuesday 17 February

1100 - 1300


Kingsgate Hotel

Tuesday 17 February

1100 - 1300



Wednesday 18 February

1100 - 1300


Barr Farm

Wednesday 18 February

1100 - 1300


Caroline Bay Community Lounge

Wednesday 18 February

1100 - 1300


Waipori Station

Friday 20 February



Quadrant Dairies

Friday 20 February

1100 - 1300


Federated Farmers head office

Wednesday 25 February

1100 - 1300


Northland Field Days

Thursday 26 February

1100 - 1300

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