Wisdom ensures there'll be no next time

By Gerald Ford

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Farm accidents are to come under the spotlight this month as the Accident Compensation Corporation and Federated Farmers adopt a psychological approach to them.

Every 28 minutes a New Zealand farmer is injured while working and, every 23 days, a farmer dies from a work-related accident, says ACC insurance and prevention manager Keith McLea.

Last year, 18,700 NZ farmers were injured at work, 16 of them fatally.

Using techniques taken from psychologists at Scotland's Keil Centre, researchers have been reviewing near-misses and accidents, Mr McLea says, "to see what we can learn about (the accidents) and share it with others, to prevent them happening again and potentially being more serious next time".

Federated Farmers' health and safety spokesman, David Rose, will also be talking on rural radio about the factors that lead to on-farm accidents.

Mr McLea said common factors uncovered include tiredness, time pressures, poor maintenance of equipment and bad choices.

"Taking the time to plan ahead, to maintain your equipment, to drive your quad bike around the long way instead of straight up the hill in extreme weather, or to leave that irritable cow for another day are all good choices that could prevent an injury."

This year, on April 1, ACC introduced an experience rating system - providing discounts for businesses with a better claims history, and loadings for those with a poor one.

Smaller businesses, with levies of less than $10,000, can receive a no-claims discount of 10 per cent, provided they have had no weekly compensation or fatal injury claims over the preceding three years, according to the ACC.

- Hamilton News

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