[15 March/Radio NZ]

A WorkSafe campaign to get farmers to use their rural vehicles more safely was prompted due to high rates of farm fatalities. According to WorkSafe statistics, 128 people have died in farm accidents since 2011. The agency will send inspectors to farms and launch publicity campaigns. The campaign aims to reduce fatalities by 20 percent by 2020. WorkSafe agriculture head, Al McCone, said the campaign would ask basic safety questions such as if they were using the right vehicle, using it within its limits and if there was too much of a load on it. He added that on farms people typically feel they can use the vehicles for anything which results in vehicle fails and accidents. Another issue Mr McCone identified was the need to make full use of guards that protect dangerous parts of machinery, such as hay balers.