Nothing beats experience and the wisdom of those who have come before us! Life is too short to make avoidable and potentially fatal mistakes. If you have to stop and think because you have learnt an important lesson from someone else, then it was well worth the read, listen or watch. Here is that place where you can learn lessons from people who have made mistakes and been through life changing situations that they want to share to help keep you safe. 


We've busted some of those niggly farming myths that you have probably heard before!


Fact: In the past two years, only one out of 600 visits have resulted in a fine! 


Fact: Two times as many people have died on farm than have been prosecuted for a workplace incident. 


Fact: You will be asked to show some things you are actually doing e.g. don’t show a shiny paperwork folder followed by bald tyres. Show that you regularly service your vehicles and they are fit for the job at hand. 


Fact: During a visit, if you have staff, they will be asked what practices are in place on the farm. Safety in a shiny folder on a shelf is not a replacement for good practice. 


Fact: If something is not right? To start with you will have a discussion about what could be improved and how – this will be written down. If something is seen to be so dangerous that it’s putting lives at immediate risk, it will be stopped immediately. 

This happens to make the workplace safer without imposing penalties. 


Fact: If you have been asked to make a change in an area, this is designed to help make your farm a safe place not to impose penalties. 

A fine or prosecution will only occur when farmers do not comply with a warning over a period of time and/or when serious non-compliance occurs that involves the potential for injury or death. 


Fact: If you have an incident on farm you are legally required to notify WorkSafe (a Government agency) which will send an inspector to see what happened and whether it could have been prevented. 

For example; If the incident involved your tractor, WorkSafe may contact your agent to see how regularly the machine was being serviced. If it was well maintained then its a completely different situation to a tractor in poor condition. 


Fact: You don’t need to fill in endless forms! Under current laws you are only required to have the following legal documents: 

1: An accident register 

2: List of hazardous substances on your farm

3: A record of ‘notifiable events’ – Incidents that result in fatalities, serious injuries or illness.  


Fact: Children are the future of farming and a very real part of everyday life on the farm. As farmers, we are responsible for making sure that people, including our children, are not put at risk from the work being done daily on the farm. 

We need to be aware of the risks that are at hand when it comes to keeping our people safe and understand that managing risks is different for adults compared to children. 

The younger the child, the more attention we need to pay to the risks they face as they are not aware of them.


Fact: We know that people are coming and going all the time on the farm for many different reasons, from staff to vets and family visitors. 

The new law states that you have the responsibility to manage workplace risk in these areas of the farm: 

  • Farm buildings and immediate surrounding areas (regardless of whether work is happening at the time).
  • Other areas of the farm when work is being done. 
  • The house on the farm is not considered a workplace. 
  • You are responsible for the health and safety of the people on your farm where they may be affected by work being carried out and managing reasonable risk you can control. 

What about recreational visitors?


The above applies for visitors who are in or around farm buildings and surrounding areas plus anywhere on the farm work is being carried out. 


You need to think about things like residue chemicals that may linger after the work has been carried out and if that will affect someone if they enter that space.


Has your contractor informed you about how they’re managing the risks that they’re bringing onto your farm? They need to have a yarn to you about these. 

You are able to stop the operation at any time if you feel that it’s not safe practice. 

You also have the responsibility to tell your contractor about any risks to them while they are at work on your farm.


We’ve said it before and we will say it again – it’s not about ticking boxes, filling out forms or sticking flowcharts up everywhere! It’s the simple everyday things you do to set an example and practice that form daily habits like wearing a helmet and a seatbelt. It’s about ensuring that everyone knows what is expected of them, they know what “good” actually looks like and they are confident in discussing that with others. 

Incredible Real Stories from Real People

Don't Ever Chase the Vehicle

Always check your handbrake before getting out of the vehicle! Read Story >


I will always wear my helmet as if I would not be here today if I didn't.
Read Story >


Always take time to stop and recharge. You are no good to anyone if you are not here. Read Story>

Accident Lessons

Lessons learnt from a gruesome accident.
Read Story >

InspIration From #PlantASeedForSafety

Safer Farms has partnered with Australia’s Alex Thomas, to bring The #PlantASeedForSafety project to New Zealand. 

The #PlantASeedForSafety Project profiles women from all parts of rural industries and communities who are making positive and practical improvements to the health, safety and wellbeing of those around them. 

From farm owners, shepherds, wives and partners, to nurses, doctors, teachers and even the local barista – every person living rurally has an impact on their community.

Here are some incredibly brave women sharing their stories. 

Family in woolsheed

Kids on the Farm...

Farming is a family business and our kids are a part of everyday life when it comes to living rurally and on-farm. We involve them in most things that we do – from helping in the yards to making smoko – and we know they love it just as much as we do.
We want to help you make sure that you and your kids can continue to live, grow and farm together while making sure that everyone stays safe! 

To keep your children safe while on the farm ensure that you have conversations with them about why they shouldn’t do something e.g. don’t just tell them not to stand behind a tractor, tell them why – even show them by putting a bucket behind the tractor, reverse over it and explain that when you stand there you, are in the driver’s blind spot. 

Being literal is important to kids and they are curious creatures so ensure that you know what’s happening on the farm that day and whether or not it’s suitable for them to be involved or not. 

You know your farm the best, so it’s up to you to keep the wee people you love safe!


Learn from these cool kids...

For more useful tips and resources click here