NZ Farming responds to claims just 1.9% of New Zealand farm’s found to have an effective health & safety program in place.

A massive thanks to NZ Farming for picking up my opinion piece via Linkedin on Friday the 19th of May and posting it to their Facebook followers!

If you haven’t seen the spirited NZ Farming feedback from their FB post, see it here

Or you can read my original Linkedin copy here

For me, the original was a bit of cathartic relief at the end of the week but the post from NZ Farming and subsequent feedback, both negative and positive, response has been huge.

I stand by my opinion that the uptake of health and safety in New Zealand farming is still in 1st gear. Hopefully NZ Farming share this response with its followers too?

To NZ Farming – you rightly think paper forms are a pain and add no H&S value…


Well, we couldn’t agree more! Zero Harm Farm was established to make this process simple, mobile & paperless. There are no “bullshit” forms, just useful, timely info shared with contractors before they even arrive on farm, which helps keep everyone safer and informed about the workplace.

We estimate we save farmers using our system, which offers the ability for them to communicate risk and safety info digitally with contractors, around $400 per annum. That’s 20 contractors inducted and signed in on average per year per farm (30 minutes x 20 contractors @ $20 for half an hour of contractor time) No paper in sight.

To Ray Blackley – Worries about productive time lost costs for farmers…


We totally agree Ray!Zero Harm Farm was made for you (and the farms you visit) – it’s FREE for your team to review the safety info of any farm – your work mates can be inducted any time they wish remotely, sign in, receive updated hazard info and browse interactive hazard mapping. Reckon this should save you time on the job and make you and your guys more aware of hazards on any property you visit.

To Tracey Stevenson – Zero Harm Farm could add terrific extra value to your services.


Compliance, is just another word for following the law, no? My point was – very few New Zealand farm owners or managers are doing so in a health and safety sense.

We’re working closely with progressive on farm health and safety consultants who can see there is a massive value add to any advice or training if they can also receive related real time data from a digital platform. At the total cost of one hr of traditional on farm consulting time per annum our clever digital tool is outrageously cost effective and might be something you’d consider to enhance your own services in the field? We’d love to hear from you too!

To Matt Graham – We rest our case…


Yes Matt, and many other consequences effecting a multi faceted spectrum of related parties, including friends and family. It’s a great point you made here.

To Kendall Hale – Frankly, this is why we have a Health and Safety at Work Act…


Take the time to read the above comment – It appears there is still a lot of work to be done on antiquated attitudes, which was the thrust of my Linkedin piece in the first place.

To Sharon Paterson – SaferFarms is a great resource but…


The WorkSafe Saferfarms is a terrific resource – we use it all the time for accessing comprehensive training guides on all aspects of farming best practice. However, our research showed many farmers, after creating a login to work through the process of creating a health and safety system were completely daunted by the large number of steps to get the paper based documents finished.

This was one of the inspirations for Zero Harm Farm – we wanted to provide a low cost, comprehensive solution which helped, via online “wizards”, farmers through the whole set up process. It only takes a customer around 20 minutes from go to whoa- go we felt it would take the average farm manager weeks to complete from the free Saferfarms resources.

We know it’s comprehensive because we had a 100% success rate in all customers receiving their 10% ACC Levy discount via their audit process. Readers might also be interested to discover we saved customers on average around $600 per year for three years, that’s a $1,800 saving in levy fees.

To Doug Williamson – I’m no lawyer but…


Good comment Doug – I think people are overthinking this one – I believe the key intention of the new Act is to highlight it is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY to share info around hazards and safety requirements on all work sites in New Zealand, including farms. So, my take of the law would be no, you don’t have to tell the contractor how to do their job but it is reasonably practicable to expect both the farmer and on site contractor to communicate any risks or hazards which could harm each party.

So, the farmer relays to the Fish and Game Representative what “rules” they should follow on your farm and any hazards you know of on site and vice versa. This could just be just a conversation between parties on the day, but best practice would be to record this took place. Using a digital system like Zero Harm Farm may be one simple, non-paper based way of doing this, it also means the info can be readily accessed without both parties being present.

Finally, to Warren Milligan


Finishing on a positive note, thanks Warren – yep, seems reasonable to us to.

Again, thanks to NZ Farming for pushing out the post – we hope you can forward this next link also and we look forward to all the subsequent feedback. We’re thick skinned here, so good or bad, we gratefully receive it and take note of your opinions.

Lastly – Zero Harm Farm was created for the very reason many of the commentators are concerned about. The two founders understand farming is different in the challenges faced to meet requirements under the act.

That’s why we created a means to get your health and safety sorted but –

  • Keep the costs associated with a comprehensive “system” to a minimum – We too felt some past consultancy providers costs were outrageous for little more than a folder with some mail merge documents
  • Provide the ability for farmers who have no receptionist or person just sitting around waiting for contractors to arrive, to easily induct and relay important safety info to visitors remotely
  • Make it simple, mobile and paperless

We welcome you to trial our system yourself, its free for 30 days, no credit card required.

Be safe.

Kind regards,

Mark Orr.

General Manager

Zero Harm Farm Ltd

021 858 940

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