Farmers are being urged to look at how they can reduce the risk of quad bike fatalities after four deaths in the past nine days.
Safer Farms chairwoman Lindy Nelson said that meant four families would have an empty seat at the dinner table this Christmas.
Safer Farms is a sector-led organisation dedicated to designing harm out of farming for good.
“We’re pleading with the community and the sector to stop and take stock of their farm vehicles,” Nelson said.
“We’re calling on farmers, their families and their communities to stop this Christmas and ask: ‘How am I controlling the risk of a quad-bike fatality on my farm?’.”
In the 19 months from January 2022 to July 2023, there were 11 fatalities on farms involving four-wheel motorbikes.
WorkSafe data shows the majority of fatalities on farms are vehicle-related.
“We need fit-for-purpose farm vehicles that ensure our farmers come home safe every day,” Nelson said.
“We need vehicles that allow our farmers to fail safely.
“If we put the same amount of energy into farm vehicles that we do into developing state-of-art safety features in our road vehicles, we can save some lives.”
Earlier this year, Safer Farms launched the Half Arsed Stops Here campaign which saw the farming sector come together and accept that it can no longer be complacent about safety on farms.
The Farm Without Harm strategy is a new way of designing risk out of the system underpinned by the vision that “everyday farming people protect one another from preventable harm”.
“We have an action plan in place to work together to solve complexities of harm on-farm and there has been so much work done around preventable vehicle harm,” Nelson said.
Listen to Rowena Duncum interview Lindy Nelson on The Country below:
However, lives were still being lost and families devastated, she said.
“Our farming community is hurting.
“It is in our DNA to protect one another - this Christmas we must make that happen.”
Safer Farms is calling on all farmers to stop and discuss:
- Whether this could happen to you
- What would it mean to your family?
- One action you can take to reduce the risk (chances) of a quad bike accident happening on your farm or with your people.
Resources and support materials are available at www.saferfarms.co.nz/manageyourrisks.