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NZ: Improved work safety in the groundspread fertiliser industry

Recent statistics show a disturbing number of injuries amongst Groundspreaders. New Zealand Groundspread Fertiliser Association (NZGFA) president Stuart Barwood says “Too many Groundspreaders are being injured on the job. One accident in the industry is one too many and we must do everything we can to make our industry as safe as it can be.

“New Zealand has a uniquely hazardous working environment for fertiliser groundspreaders. Mother Nature has sent us every obstacle possible. Drought conditions in particular have had a big impact on the industry.

“The chevron tyres on the majority of our spreaders require some softness in the land to give heavy vehicles traction - predominantly as they negotiate steeper terrain. The hardness of the land has made slopes that previously could be negotiated safely, potentially dangerous. To add to the mix; after any shower of rain - or even heavy dew, the surface becomes extremely slippery which is treacherous for our vehicles. We have experienced good growth this year with regular rain - the flip side of that being pasture paddocks need to be treated with caution.

“As the industry organization representing groundspreaders, NZGFA is committed to doing all it can to assist,” Stuart Barwood said. “This winter alone, NZGFA has put several hundred spreader drivers through safety training courses run by qualified instructors. All participants are given the NZGFA Safety Manual which outlines the varying hazards fertiliser groundspreaders encounter on the job.

“Spreading fertiliser can be a dangerous business. It is our aim to make every driver of a fertiliser spreader aware and trained in the hazards that can exist and more importantly, how to handle them.

We strive for constant improvement and as such NZGFA has also recently reviewed and updated its Driver Safety Manual. NZGFA will continue our commitment to improve industry safety standards” Stuart Barwood said.

For more information:
Stuart Barwood
New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers' Association
Tel: +64 3 685 8583

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