A farm health and safety management app that won the 2016 Southern Field Days invention award is back this year, launched in a commercial version that’s set to go.
Zero Harm Farm is the brainchild of Ross Copland and Mark Orr, who took out the top prize when they launched their app as a working prototype at the Waimumu event in February 2016.
At the time, they were working together for NZ Ski (operators of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and
Mount Hutt ski fields).
Orr says the idea for the app came from their familiarity with the efficient health and safety regimes of the ski industry. And both came from farming backgrounds so they knew farmers would have to lift their game to meet new rules soon to kick in.
Orr says the app is designed to make H&S compliance “really easy” for farmers.
Most of the H&S Act was framed for construction, mining and other industries where sites could be fenced off, and contractors and other visitors were met at an office to be signed in and inducted, he explained.
“Farms don’t really operate like that. A lot of times the actual farm owner or manager might not physically
The app allows farmers to log and map all the hazards on their farm, using a series of templates to guide
them through common hazards. Contractors coming to the farm then have the hazard map and the farm’s health
and safety policy at their fingertips.
They also sign on and off the property via the mobile app, without the usual paperwork.
Orr says the app is free to use for everyone apart from the site owner. Contractors coming on-site need an
account, but he says farmers tend to use the same contractors over again, so it is easy to invite them to sign up
before they arrive.
The app creates easier access and is a simpler way to record everything digitally, he said.
“Other developers are also trying to do this, but I think we were basically the first to launch a focussed farming
Two years on from their win, the Queenstown company now has 2600 customer sites including corporate
farmers Tainui, plus various agribusinesses and consultants.
The company employs three software developers. Orr is the general manager and Copland remains a director while also
working as the general manager of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.
Orr says the Young Farmers organisation has used the app to manage health and safety for all its competitions, reducing
paperwork by 80%. He says paperwork is one of the bugbears for every industry.
“This is a regulatory requirement and we’re just trying to make it as painless as possible.”
He says Zero Harm Farm is also soon to launch a sister app called Zero Harm Site, for construction and office use…
Reproduced from page 48 Rural News February 2018 – Credit: Nigel Malthus, Rural News Ltd.