One third of workplace fatalities in agriculture in 2011
31 January 2012
Provisional statistics released by the Department of Labour today show that more than one third of workplace fatalities in New Zealand last year occurred in the agriculture sector.
“15 of the 41 workplace deaths reported to the Department in 2011 were on farms – this is simply too high,” says the Department’s Central General Manager Ona de Rooy.
“The majority of these deaths involved vehicles or machinery and were preventable.
“As a Department we are committed to reducing the high work toll in this sector - this is why we have a three-year quad bike safety campaign under way,” says Ms de Rooy.
“Our inspectors have been out visiting farms and talking to farmers about their health and safety obligations such as ensuring employees wear helmets. We are pleased that since the campaign began helmet sales have increased, but there is still a lot of work to do.
“Agriculture is an important sector to New Zealand, and better efforts must be made in health and safety to ensure farmers and their workers go home safely at the end of the day”.
“Everyone has a role to play to reduce this toll. We have worked with stakeholders across the industry to develop an Agriculture Sector Action Plan which sets out specific actions to reduce the number of farmers dying and being seriously injured. The Plan is now available for consultation and will be released later this year,” Ms de Rooy says.