Farming has long been a challenging part of New Zealand's health and safety in the workplace regime. At least 120 people have been killed working on New Zealand farms since 2008, equating to almost one every fortnight. There were four times as many fatalities on farms last year as there were in the forestry or construction industries.

In an effort to stop these tragic deaths and accidents, the Government has launched a new programme, Safer Farms, which aims to be a one-stop place for farmers to find health and safety information. The programme has been jointly designed by farmers and the wider agricultural sector, WorkSafe New Zealand and the Accident Compensation Corporation.

On the website,, farmers can:

  • make and maintain a Safer Farm Plan;
  • find guides on how to comply with health and safety legislation and how to deal with common hazards on farms;
  • find answers to common questions, and a place to ask more questions;
  • obtain templates for the paperwork needed to manage hazards on farms; and
  • find information on how to report an accident, should the worst happen.

Safer Farms will also take the health and safety message directly to rural communities through rural retailer education, school programmes, "how to" sessions at field days, and rural industry groups who we will help to provide onsite training.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.