North Canterbury News & Events

Farm Without Harm - Safety Conversatons

Farm Without Harm - Safety Conversatons

Health & safety is the outcome of great work

September 2023 -  Up Our Game Workshop was on having good safety conversations.

A key insight from this session was that health and safety is the outcome of great work.

As panelist and farmer, Becs Dondertman, said “if we plan well and execute well, we have a safe work environment.”

We are in a risky industry and that is why we need to plan. This workshop centred around three questions:

  1. What does a good safety conversation look like?
  2. What do we need to acknowledge our barriers to having them? 
  3. And why are they important?

Watch the session back here if you missed it.

These are six takeaways to think about when it comes to talking safety on farm:

  1.  A good conversation focuses on the outcome of good work (vs. compliance): I.e. how are we going to get today's jobs done well?
  2. Keep it simple: Plan your day, where you’re going and what you’ll need to do the job well. Talk about it with your team. 
  3. Engage everyone in identifying and solving a problem: It is important that teams are given the space and time to think and talk about how to safely do a job.
  4. Be curious rather than being critical: Ask, ‘how would you do this?’ 
  5. Consider taking the word safety out of your conversation: Ask, ‘have we got the right tools to do a good job?’ ‘Are the conditions right to do this job today?’
  6. Focus on the big (most critical) risks. What’s the stuff that’s going to seriously harm or kill you?

Download our conversation prompt sheet for more ideas on encouraging regular communication around safety. Remember, having these conversations with each other builds trust and it also makes us more efficient. Planning well is the one thing you can do to give yourself more time.

Thank you to Lindy Nelson, Rob Kirkwood, and Becs Dondertman for sharing their expertise, insights and experiences out on farm.

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