It aims to raise the voices of rural women and boost confidence in their ability to influence change and inspire others to make safer, healthier choices.
It profiles women from rural industries and communities who are making positive and practical improvements to the health, safety and wellbeing of those around them.
Thomas, who founded the project, says everybody knows someone who’s been hurt at work in rural industries but the focus on paperwork and box-ticking is detracting from talking about the sorts of things done daily that prevent people from getting hurt.
“We need to talk much, much less about paperwork and much, much more about the things that could actually save a life.”
Agriculture has the second highest number of deaths in all New Zealand industries with 23 people killed in work-related incidents from April 2019 to March 2020.
One of those already on board is Safer Farms’ health and safety advocate Harriet Bremner, who lost a family member in a farming accident.
“I know first-hand how much women care about the people they love staying safe while they work. We want to change the stigma of putting health and safety in a box when it should be about putting people first and keeping the ones you love alive.”
Bremner hhopes to change the she’ll-be-right and it’ll-never-happen-to-me attitudes many kiwi farmers have.
“An accident or fatality can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of how experienced they are.
“This is about planting a seed for safety, to get people home to their families at the end of every day.”
Others involved include Will to Live’s Elle Perriam, rural nurse Mischa Clouston, Sarah’s Country host Sarah Perriam, Proud To Be A Farmer member Claire Inkson, farmer and health and safety advocate Mairi Whittle and Social Licence Consulting founder Penny Johns.
Supporting organisations include Rural Women, WorkSafe, Dairy Women’s Network, the Rural Support Trust, Farm Source, Pamu and LIC.
Women can submit their stories to be uploaded to the #PlantASeedForSafety website where visitors can find positive and practical solutions to improving health, safety and wellbeing on-farm and in communities.