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Worksafe needs to toughen up on farm deaths

National's lack-lustre approach to workplace deaths in the agriculture sector seems to be rubbing off on its workplace safety regulator Worksafe, Labour’s Workplace Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney says.

“Worksafe board chair has informed a parliamentary select committee it is reluctant to take prosecutions against farmers for workplace deaths on their farms.

"I was shocked to hear he didn't think taking prosecutions against farmers was effective because of the 'nature ' of the industry.”

In the 2014/15 year 42 per cent of those who died at their workplace were working in Agriculture.

"In these circumstances, both the Government and its health and safety regulator Worksafe should be pulling out all stops to address this dismal record.

"Instead, they are taking a 'softly, softly' approach exempting agriculture from being treated as a high risk industry and facing prosecution.

“Every worker on every worksite needs a government and enforcement agency that has their back when it comes to health and safety,” Sue Moroney says.