Monday, April 22, 2024

Project aims to improve dairy farm health and safety

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A new DairyNZ and ACC project wants to improve the health and safety of farmers, by reducing the occurrence of on-farm injuries. The Reducing Sprains and Strains project is designed to develop solutions which support a sector-wide reduction in sprains and strains by 2030.
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A new DairyNZ and ACC project wants to improve the health and safety of farmers, by reducing the occurrence of on-farm injuries.

The Reducing Sprains and Strains project is designed to develop solutions which support a sector-wide reduction in sprains and strains by 2030.

DairyNZ general manager of farm performance Sharon Morrell says these injuries often arise particularly during busy periods on the farm. 

“Sprains and strains represent around 40% of dairy farm injuries, with the highest risk period occurring between August and October. This coincides with peak calving on most farms, where we often see increased working hours and fatigue,” Morrell says.

This project has received $900,000 of co-funding by the ACC’s Workplace Injury Prevention programme, supported by a $150,000 investment by dairy farmers through the DairyNZ levy. 

“We are grateful for the ACC funding, as it will allow us to identify potential solutions to reduce sprains and strains, helping improve the wellbeing of our farmers – employers and employees,” she says.

The project works towards improving workplaces, which will have positive outcomes for all farmers, supporting the sector to attract and retain staff. 

“Our goal is to work with farmers to understand the causes of sprains and strains, potential solutions and drivers of change to develop solutions that fit with their farming practices. This will then benefit other areas of the business, including farm productivity,” she says.

ACC workplace safety injury prevention manager Virginia Burton-Konia says reducing the rate of injuries in the dairy sector would have a positive impact on the wellbeing of people working in the sector, and a safe and well workforce means more productive businesses.

The Reducing Sprains and Strain project will use expertise from auditing and training provider QCONZ for its project delivery.

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