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Waikato-based expert farm safety and rural consultancy company AgSafe NZ specialises in consulting with farmers to prepare hazard management programmes and safety plans for a wide range of rural businesses.
The organisation is 100% dedicated towards implementing effective health/safety measures in the rural sector. As a strong voice for Kiwi farmers, rural consultant Jim Findlay from AgSafe NZ has recently penned a firm letter to WorkSafe New Zealand with four vital concerns regarding legal rights and communication with rural businesses.
“Farmers continue to lose their lives on farms and we want to be part of the process of reducing deaths on farm,” says Findlay. “We believe in a safe and healthy workplace.”
AgSafe’s first concern is WorkSafe’s public statements informing farmers that tailor-made policies are often expensive and unnecessary, costing up to $6,000. However, AgSafe only charges approximately 25% of quoted costs and the organisation undertakes two initial visits to farmers’ properties for thorough analysis, documentation, and regular meetings.
Another major concern AgSafe expresses is WorkSafe inspectors’ negligence with health and safety management and farmers’ rights. Ongoing discussion with rural farmers has revealed that WorkSafe inspectors have discouraged them from getting “fancy” policies on several occasions. Findlay perceives this as being a huge risk for farmers in the case of a workplace accident as it would lead to troubles at the Court.
The team at AgSafe are also worried that WorkSafe inspectors who communicate with farmers do not possess adequate knowledge about farming practices to provide advice effectively. This leads to several misunderstandings between both parties as the difference in knowledge acts as a barrier.
“It is very difficult for us to have a meaningful discussion with those farmers and to get them on board on health and safety matters when we are in effect undermined in this matter by the advice that is being given by some of your department inspectors,” Findlay writes.
AgSafe NZ are ardent advocates for rural health/safety. The organisation strives to maintain a consistently high standard of safety for farmers and rural businesses in order to avoid workplace injuries.
Contact AgSafe NZ Ltd:
Phone: 0274 587 724