Agriculture Sector Action Plan to 2013
3. Planned and ongoing activity to 2013 - what we are going to do about it
Ultimately, we want to see:
Fewer injuries related to using agricultural vehicles and machinery
Improved physical and mental health/wellbeing of farmers and farm workers
Fewer injury-causing slips, trips and falls around the farm, and
Reduced injury and illness from handling animals.
In order to achieve these goals, we need to have a multi-faceted plan of attack that involves:
building health and safety leadership in the agriculture sector (leadership)
making sure people have the necessary skills and confidence to contribute to improved health and safety in their workplace (capability)
making sure people have the information they need – about the problems and the solutions (knowledge), and
effective systems and processes that bring about behaviour change (infrastructure).
The following actions (current and planned) of industry stakeholders and Government have been mapped against the goals and the various approaches using the icons above, so you can see how they work together.
3.1 Reducing harm from use of quad bikes on-farm
3.2 Providing high quality information and guidance
3.2.2 ACC will continue to update, publish and promote agriculture injury prevention resources and tools related to the four priority areas. Work will be completed by December 2013.
3.2.3 Agricultural Risk Management Associates (ARMA) will provide new high quality resource materials and guidance documents particularly relating to the main risk factors identified in Otago University’s 2009 report. They will also develop skill and confidence capabilities and supporting the adoption of effective holistic injury prevention systems and processes. ARMA can also provide support to industry and the Department of Labour in evaluating the effectiveness of the actions of this Action Plan.
3.2.4 DairyNZ will continue to promote their HR and compliance toolkits to the dairy farming community. These toolkits offer practical and effective solutions for dairy farmers to manage health and safety and employment matters on their farm. The HR toolkit includes information about hazard identification and management (including the priority focus areas of this plan); the compliance toolkit provides standard form templates for farmers to customise. Both toolkits are free to NZ levy paying dairy farmers, and can also be bought by non-dairy farmers.
3.2.5 The NZ Shearing Industry Health and Safety Committee is developing travel guidelines that aim to ensure the on-road safety of shearing teams while travelling between jobs. The document outlines the responsibilities of passengers, owners, employers and drivers, and will eventually form part of the broader health and safety guidelines for the shearing industry. The Committee will promote and disseminate the travel guidelines among key stakeholderst.
3.3 Promoting the Partners in Action Pledge
The Department of Labour will promote the Pledge in the agriculture sector over the next two years (via a variety of channels and events) to encourage stakeholders to sign up. By signing the Pledge, businesses, organisations and individuals are agreeing to do their bit to reduce the high number of people dying at work.
3.4 Finding out more about the behaviour of quad bike users
3.5 Supporting the wellness and wellbeing of NZ’s dairy farmers
The programme started in 2010 and goes until 2017. It is being done by the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health (NZIRH) in partnership with AgResearch and Lincoln University.
A series of ‘Health PitStop’ clinics are held around the country at agricultural events. These involve doing brief assessments to provide farmers with immediate information about their health. 824 assessments were undertaken in the 2010-11 year: as a result, 632 farmers now have the information to help them start addressing a physical health issue they were previously unaware of. A further 500 PitStop farmer assessments are planned to be completed by May 2012.
As part of this programme Lincoln University, together with WEB Research, are carrying out a systems-based research programme. It focuses on dairy farm activities, through regionally based work change laboratories, to help people in dairy farming develop safer and more productive production systems and behaviours with long term benefits.
3.6 Promoting safety in the Beef and Lamb sector
- promote the wearing of helmets at all B+LNZ funded events where quad bikes/motorbikes are being used for farm tours
- demonstrate leadership by requiring their staff to wear helmets at all times when riding quad bikes/motorbikes at farmer events and field days, and also prohibiting them from doubling-up as a passenger on vehicles not designed for that purpose
- use E-diaries (email-based farmer communications and information updates) to raise awareness of the use of safe farm practices in the four priority areas, and
- promote the uptake of agri-vehicle licensing for non-road vehicles (tractors, motorbikes, quad bikes etc).
3.7 Providing high quality training to the farming community
- raise the standard of safety training and assessment for farm vehicles, through the AgExcel quality mark, and partnering with Farmsafe on their quad bike and tractor licence initiatives
- ensure that health and safety best practice is embedded in all qualifications and resources, particularly those at entry level
- review and update farm vehicle and machinery NZQA unit standards to reflect industry and Department of Labour expectations, and
- run (in conjunction with a range of training partners) National Certificate in Agriculture (General Skills) programmes throughout the country, which focus on farm safety.
3.7.2 Agribusiness Training Ltd promote and provide best practice/safe use training for agrichemicals and a range of agricultural equipment (quad bikes, ATVUs, tractors, motorbikes, firearms, chainsaws etc) to NZQA unit standards and qualifications. They will continue to:
- tailor the content of vehicle training to suit those working with different terrains and land use types, and with varying levels of skill
- promote and provide training for recognised unit standards and qualifications in best practice animal handling and management for a range of animal types – dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, deer, horses, dogs, and bees
- include health and safety units in all qualifications delivered, focusing on awareness of risks and how to mitigate and manage them, and
- model health and safety awareness by discussing it at each practical training session, guided by a health and safety checklist.
In addition, they will:
- in 2012, build on existing partnerships to increase the amount of training accessed by people purchasing new quad bikes, and
- by 2013, explore options for including pigs as part animal handling and management training.
3.8 Raising farmers’ awareness of the true cost of injury
3.9 Preventing and Managing Discomfort, Pain and Injury (DPI)
3.10 Helping farmers provide safety information to their staff
3.11 Reducing slips, trips and falls on the farm
3.12 Promoting safer use of quad bikes and tractors
Farmsafe (in association with AgITO) will promote uptake of the scheme in 2012-13. A similar scheme for tractors is due to be launched in 2012.
3.13 Focusing on children's safety with animals and farm vehicles
- surveying about 2,500 primary schoolchildren to find out about their use of horses, ponies, quad bikes and motorcycles, and promoting the key findings
- delivering an in-school programme 'Down the Back Paddock' that teaches key safety messages
- delivering training days and developing safety brochures targeted at children and their parents, and
- promoting a pre-purchase check list for parents who are thinking about buying a vehicle for their child to use.
3.14 Supporting migrant farm workers to work safely
3.14.2 The Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research at Auckland University of Technology, in conjunction with the Pacific Island Education Centre, have developed an occupational health and safety training programme designed to educate a culturally diverse agricultural workforce on:
- use of agricultural vehicles and machinery
- slips, trips and falls
- animal handling
- chemical use, and
- physical and mental health/wellbeing.
The course involves a one-day introductory module and supplementary half-day modules. It is designed to be learner-centred, and caters for different learning styles. The course will be offered ‘on demand’ in order to fit around the busiest times of the year in the agricultural sector.
3.15 Analysing rural incidents to support learning
- ACC’s injury prevention and management consultants, Farmsafe and Assure Quality representatives will be trained in HFAT methodology
- HFAT investigations will be carried out in conjunction with industry
- key findings and summary reports will be progressively published, and
- new interventions and initiatives will be developed with the industry using HFAT findings.
Federated Farmers will provide industry support to this work by:
- helping to publicise case studies (based on investigations) in rural publications, and
- promoting the service to the farming community, including via a series of radio interviews.
3.16 Sharing knowledge and information with industry
3.17 Ensuring safe on-road use of agricultural vehicles
3.18 Providing positive suicide prevention support
- supporting the formation of a local Menz Shed
- setting up a suicide support group
- programming on local radio that focuses on mental health issues
- providing training to a local person to run workshops on recognising suicidal behaviour
- mapping current support available in the area, and
- developing more meaningful local suicide data.
3.19 Informing the rural community about Leptospirosis
- raising farmer awareness of Leptospirosis - through multiple extension activities including demonstration farms, and
- investigating the potential production-limiting effects of Lepto - through studies on sheep and beef cattle farms.
3.20 Supporting the wellbeing of young dairy workers
- designing and promoting a healthy eating and lifestyle package, including information to young workers on diet and cooking etc
- gathering support from local businesses, and
- providing networking opportunities to combat social isolation.
3.21 Improving health and safety in the wool harvesting industry
- introducing ShearNZ - a quality programme built by the industry, for the industry. The programme recognises that the point of wool harvesting is a critical step in the wool supply chain, and that the application of well-defined standards for shearing businesses will have wide benefits – including improved health and safety for workers. The accreditation process includes assessment of an operator’s health and safety practices, and accredited operators are provided with access to health and safety resources.
- working with industry and the manufacturers/suppliers of shearing plant to facilitate the introduction of new, safer technology and phase out older machinery that is still in current use on NZ farms. Newer shearing machines have an auto cut-out function that reduces the chance of accidental cuts to the shearer. They also have a lower decibel output than the older machines, which could mean less noise-induced hearing loss as a result for people working long hours in the sheds. The committee is gaining a commitment from relevant parties to set dates to cease the sale (and eventually service) of the older machines to ensure more shearers are able to benefit from the newer technology over time.
 Cryer, C., Lovelock, K., Lilley, R., Davidson, P., Davie, G., Samaranayaka, A., McBride, D., Milosavljevic, S., and Morgaine, K. 2009. Effective Occupational Health Interventions in Agriculture - Report of a survey of risk factors and exposures on farms. Report no: 3. Report prepared for Health Research Council, Department of Labour, and Accident Compensation Corporation Partnership. Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dunedin. Occasional Report Series No. OR076. 169pp.