"Engage, not enrage"
The LabourLite Nat minister in charge of the safety body Worksafe, which has recently gone rogue on quad bike safety fining a farmer heaps for helmets hanging on the wall, has missed the boat in asking farmers to find a solution.
He got a rough reception from a farmer meeting in Masterton over safety issues.
There is no need for more regulation, guidelines or safety hardware. Farmers realise that the status quo is not acceptable, but the attitude of clipboard wielding Worksafe bureaucrats has to change.
From farmer reports:
Worksafe reps turning up unannounced, in unmarked vehicles and without visible ID, expecting job in hand to cease whilst the boxes are ticked. That is not acceptable.
Worksafe turned up out of the blue when we busy working in the yards and expected to drop everything.
"He wanted to know whether I'd wiped my arse that morning. After an hour of my time, only fault was that motorbikes without first aid kits was an issue. I suggested that he left."
Typical commentary from farmers heartily sick of bureaucrats being heaped on them.
The attitude of Worksafe are unprofessional, needing curtailing and a culture change from Worksafe. Worksafe should be a partner, not a punisher to be feared.
One comment suggested:
Investigation and analysis of quad bike deaths or serious injuries should be shared publicly.
Woodhouse replied "that would need to be resourced" (implying more taxes).
I was surprised at that answer. Other than waving the big stick on helmets, one wonders what else Worksafe is doing when it combs through an incident. Does it not already analyse in minute detail the causes of the incidents? If not, why not?
from The NZ Farmers Weekly, today in my mailbox