Federated Farmers says it’s pleased with the response from farmers signing up to the new online injury prevention programme Tahi Ngātahi, which will be launched at the New Zealand Agricultural Show next week.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor will speak at the official launch of the programme on Thursday in Christchurch.

Tahi Ngātahi means ‘one, together’ and describes the industry-driven partnership between farmers, shearing contractors and government to prevent injuries in the wool growing and harvesting industry.

It’s a collaboration between Federated Farmers and the New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association, with financial backing from ACC and support from WorkSafe.

The online programme was first introduced to farmers and shearers in September and initial figures show that there’s been a good response from farmers and their staff signing up.

“They are showing higher engagement than the figures we expected which is great,” said Tahi Ngātahi programme manager Trish Ryan.

Federated Farmers President Katie Milne said the interest from farmers was pleasing and showed farmers were keen to ensure they were meeting health and safety standards.

“It’s really important that we have shearing sheds up to standard and that farmers and their shearing contractors are aware of safety measures and are working together on this.

“This programme has injury prevention processes and tips for all those involved in working in the shed, including farm staff. Great to see farmers joining in as it not only prevents injuries, but can improve their processes and therefore business outcomes.”

Milne said Federated Farmers supported the programme because it was a positive initiative developed by the industry and for the industry.

“Most farmers and shearers will be doing things correctly with sheep preparation and in most areas of the shed, but these videos are a check-list to see if that’s the case, and we can all always learn something new or a better way of doing things.”

Ryan said farmers, shearing contractors and their staff were encouraged to sign up and do the online training for this summer shearing season.

It includes over 30 videos featuring industry people explaining what’s worked for them to make a safe environment, and covers topics for shearers, farmers, wool handlers, pressers and those penning up the sheep.

Farmers can complete their woolshed Warrant of Fitness online and share this with their shearing contractor, keep records of their certified workers, and know their workers are trained to keep themselves and animals safe in the working woolshed environment.

The programme and videos are available here. There’s a charge to shearing contractors and a small charge for farmers. It’s free to shed staff who are registered with an employer.

Source: The Country

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