Workplace safety vital
The fact that consumers expect 100% perfection from their food producers was a growing trend discussed at the recent Horticulture Conference. Delegates were also told that consumers expect total transparency, so that they can confirm that perfection. Achieving these two market requirements will result in premium pricing and high volume sales for New Zealand’s fruit and vegetables.
To help achieve this perfection, Horticulture New Zealand teamed up with WorkSafe New Zealand to create a health and safety toolkit specifically designed for horticulture businesses. Keep Safe, Keep Growing has two forms – a written document and an online easy-to-follow guide. Whether the book or the online guide is used, the toolkit is designed to assist horticulture businesses to review their health and safety arrangements and where necessary, to enhance them. Features include a guide for visitors to a property, tools and training resources for workers and contractors, and the ability to create risk assessments for Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) audits.
Although horticulture has less serious harm incidents than some other parts of the primary sector, improving our health and safety is vitally important. Making health and safety an integral part of every activity and the responsibility of everyone employed, as the toolkit explains, is the key ingredient to a much safer work environment. Quad bikes, machinery, and lower back injuries are the main causes of horticulture injury, with the toolkit providing specific guidance in these and other key risk areas. There is an excellent section on myth-busting that recognises that not all risks can be eliminated, with the toolkit providing the pathway to mitigating those risks that cannot be eliminated, as far as possible.
Everyone is encouraged to use this toolkit, and can request a copy of the booklet from Horticulture New Zealand. Or go online for a copy and to work through the toolkit.
- Mike Chapman, CEO