Safety Buster April 2017

Who can enter your property?  Who are authorised people?

Where do you stand?

A recent fatal farm accident has opened up some new questions.

An employee of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council died in a recent 4-wheel drive accident on a farm in a remote rural area.

Employees of Regional Councils and of some government agencies have access warrants that permit them to visit farms. Sometimes the farmers do not want them to cross the land!!! BUT things might have changed with the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015.

The information also include the drainage inspectors and contractors cleaning drains or inspecting power lines as required by the Regional Councils or the power reticulation companies.

The questions that come to the fore are:
1. Had the council/authorised employee undergone a Health & Safety briefing from the land owner/operator before traversing the property?
2. Who’s responsibility is it to make sure the council/authorised employee is fully briefed of all likely hazards on the property?
3. If the council/authorised employee entered the property under the authority of the entry warrant and the land owner/operator refused to advise them of the hazards, who is responsible?

These are real questions and we all need to understand the answers and the ramifications.

There are some things we should all do and remember:
1. Do not loan your quad bike, motorbike or any other machinery to people to traverse your property, unless you are satisfied as to their skill as an operator.
2. Do not be belligerent and try and refuse access, but give a proper briefing of the hazards they may encounter and have them confirm their skill of driving/operating the vehicle or equipment they have.
3. If the officer or other person refuses a briefing, write to the CEO of the authorising authority immediately.

Is your policy current and compliant, if in doubt, contact AgSafe and follow us on our Facebook page. Phone 0508safefarm. (0508723332)

About the author

James Findlay

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