Canterbury's woolsheds are going to come in for some assessment in coming months.

A workshop was held in Timaru recently to update farmers and shearers about what was going to take place.

"The primary purpose was to let people know that WorkSafe are planning to visit woolsheds in Canterbury over the next six months" Bronwyn Campbell of Tahi Ngātahi said.

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"They are contacting farmers to make appointments for the inspector to use the Tahi Ngātahi Warrant of Fitness to check things are all up to standard".

Elaine Cowan of WorkSafe NZ said two years ago ACC was becoming concerned at the number of injuries in shearing, and identified three regions as having particularly high rates: the central region of Hawke's Bay, Manawatu and Waikato; and Canterbury and Southland.

After this WorkSafe agreed to use the Tahi Ngātahi Warrant of Fitness, which has been promoted by the NZ Shearing Contractors Association, ACC and Federated Farmers.

Campbell said about 15 woolshed inspectors had been trained in Canterbury and would be placed throughout the region in what was being called the Canterbury Shearing Project.

Appointments would be made with farmers; a Warrant of Fitness assessment would then be held, the findings would be discussed and depending on what was found, revisits could be necessary.

Among areas covered by the Warrant of Fitness, which would be rated from good to ''not yet'' or ''not applicable'', were:

• Vehicle access: Whether they were near banks, powerlines, had all weather access and if there was a parking area.

• Entries and exits: Whether they were clear-marked, had adequate lighting, outside light, safe-non-slip steps and landings and guard rails.


• Shearing plant: Elbow protector worm drive, auto-cut out, well mounted-belt guards, plant secure.

• Other items on the check list are: Floors, shed design, electrical, good lighting over work areas, woolpress, grinder, doors and gates, hygiene facilities, chemicals.

ACC estimates the wool sector accounted for over $25million in new claims liability.

In 2017 a total of 755 work-related injuries in wool harvesting were recorded, resulting in 9300 working days lost.