18 August 2011
Snow and extreme weather conditions are coinciding with lambing for sheep farmers â€“ have highlighted the need to keep
safe on the farm this winter.
A farmer or agricultural worker is injured almost every half hour in New Zealand, and the risks are worse in bad
â€œYouâ€™re more likely to lose control of tractors and quad bikes in extreme weather conditions, and even the risk of a
bad fall is greatly increased,â€ said ACC Manager of Injury Prevention, Peter Wood.
â€œBeing cold and wet, and tired from working long hours add up to an accident waiting to happen.
â€œRemember that in cold weather you can suffer from fatigue doing something that in normal weather is not a problem. So
ensure you have enough food to maintain your energy levels and wrap up warm,â€ said Mr Wood.
South Island farmers are experiencing particularly deep snow and cold temperatures. About 122 farmers were injured every
week last year in the South Island while they were at work.
Handling animals, riding quad bikes and using farm machinery are the more common tasks that lead to accidents and
In sleet and snow, cattle get distressed and are often more difficult to handle, particularly if their coats are wet and
they lose the ability to insulate. They need shelter and more feed to offset the heat loss and understandably this can
cause cattle to become more aggressive. This means cattle handlers need to be extra vigilant and patient.
Itâ€™s also important to choose the most suitable vehicle for the job. Think about where you need to go and be
particularly careful if riding quads around hilly terrain in snow and ice â€“ avoid doing this if you possibly can.
â€œThe accidents that happen on farms are often serious, and can end a farmerâ€™s days on the land and his ability to
support his family,â€ said Peter Wood. â€œAnd the tragic thing is that most of these injuries are easily
Farmers can find tips on keeping safe in ACCâ€™s animal handling brochure "No-bull tips for animal handling" or in
ACCâ€™s booklets on tractor and quad bike safety.
These are available to download at www.acc.co.nz/rural