The Grow Home Safe project is a unique collaboration between Horticulture NZ and ACC, which aims to sow the seeds of safety and well-being within the industry.
Funded through their workplace injury prevention grant, Horticulture NZ General Manager Rebecca Fisher told REX host Dominic George that the project has been planted to better understand the causes of harm in the horticulture industry and cultivate a better culture.
"Our vision is to build system capability and establish health, safety and well-being leadership in our industry," she explained.
The initiative has four stages: understand, intervene, support and lead. The first stage, 'understand', is about using the available data and resources to identify the main health and safety concerns within horticulture.
"The ACC data showed that lumbar sprains, cuts to hands and fingers, back, shoulder and eye injuries are the most common," Fisher revealed.
Concerns such as extreme weather and inconsistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE) also surfaced as significant issues.
However, the project does not stop at just understanding the issues. Fisher elaborated on the future plans for this groundbreaking initiative. The Grow Home Safe website, launched in June, acts as a resource hub specifically for growers. The website, in conjunction with health and safety specialists Impacts, provides horticulture-specific risk management training.
"We've worked with health and safety specialists Impacts to develop horticulture-specific risk management training.
"The pilot sessions have shown that growers love the fact that imagery, language and examples were all tailored to horticulture."
The initiative is also partnering with SiteSafe to develop foundation-level health and safety training.
"By having industry-standard training, employers can be confident workers will have basic level health and safety knowledge, making induction easier and ensuring a safer workforce."
Another promising development is their collaboration with ACC to create task-specific stretching posters.
"We're working with ACC to update stretching posters specific to tasks undertaken in horticulture," Fisher explained.
The project is also looking at translating these into physical languages for RSE workers.
Moreover, the project aims to create a cultural competency framework to improve health and safety outcomes for workers from different cultures.
"We're working on a project to develop a cultural competency framework to help growers understand how they can make changes and improve health and safety outcomes from workers with different cultures."
The Grow Home Safe project is a remarkable initiative that underlines the importance of safety and well-being in horticulture. The project's progressive approach to tackling industry-specific challenges is sure to cultivate a safer and healthier environment for all involved in the horticulture industry.
Find our more information about the Grow Home Safe Project at growhomesafe.co.nz.
Listen to the full chat between Horticulture NZ General Manager Rebecca Fisher and Dominic George above.