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Experienced farmers dying on the job

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016
<span style="font-size:13px;">Data on farm deaths from 2015 shows more than half were experienced farmers doing routine work, usually involving a vehicle.</span> © AFP Data on farm deaths from 2015 shows more than half were experienced farmers doing routine work, usually involving a vehicle.

More than half of fatalities on farms last year involved experienced workers carrying out routine jobs, new data from the workplace safety watchdog reveals.

Of the 19 deaths of farms last year, more than 50 per cent involved farmers aged 55 or over driving vehicles on sloping or uneven ground, WorkSafe says.

"These were mature and experienced people doing jobs they would have done many times before," said WorkSafe's agriculture programme manager Al McCone.

Sixteen of the farm deaths in 2015 involved vehicles, and Mr McCone said the common themes were being hit by a vehicle or vehicles rolling.

He said many people worked alone on farms and recommended having a plan in place if anything went wrong.

"Like most risk management processes, it doesn't need to be complicated," said Mr McCone.

"There are a number of solutions that send out 'man down' or just location signals. If you can't afford these, then get a simple system in place where people check in at agreed times. If they don't, then check on them."

WORKSAFE FARM SAFETY ADVICE

* check-in systems for people working alone

* more attention to quad bike safety, such as tyres

* taking care on uneven/sloping ground

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