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Health and Safety News

Fran's Blog- Waikato Consultant

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Look after the most important piece of farm equipment - YOU

With Worksafe messages coming out about taking a tougher stance within the agricultural sector as farmers are expected to know their obligations and be compliant I thought it timely to reflect on who has to drive all this.

Remember to look after the most important piece of farm equipment – YOU

Managing people, land, production, finances, juggling time with family, working long days in unpredictable weather- it’s easy to forget to look after ourselves.

My friend gave me this Men’s Health brochure that I want to share parts with you as it hits the nail on the head for so many of us out there at present waiting for the sun to shine and the mud to dry out a bit.

Farming is tough, so becoming unwell, or being unfit for work is just not an option.

Some Stay Well tips

STAY HYDRATED- Drink plenty of water, keep off the sugary drinks.

EAT WELL – Our body’s energy needs change through the farming seasons.

REST WELL- Aim for eight hours sleep a night. Write down your to-do list for next day to get it off your mind, and get up ten minutes earlier to review and plan your day.

Reduce Your Stress

Getting momentum to keep the farm going day after day, prioritising work and decision making are all harder if you are operating with a high level of stress. But reducing that stress is easier said than done, right? Here are some ideas:


When we go for long stretches without getting off the farm, it can take it’s toll. Decision making gets harder, we get overwhelmed and become less logical and more emotional. Getting away and being with other people can recharge batteries and give us perspective. Even doing something you enjoy off the farm can help


Write down what you need to do and what you have achieved.


It’s good to talk about what’s going on with the farm and how we are feeling. Getting it out in the open can lift a weight off your shoulders.


We know the importance of maintaining farm equipment and vehicles regularly- we need to do the same for ourselves. Visit your doctor annually to get your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels checked.

Have you heard of “STAY WELL NZ”?

This sevice is FREE FAST & FRIENDLY.

The Stay Well project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the rural community. The service is led by Farmer Wellness Ambassador, Joyce Brown, (a farmer herself) and aims to give farmers a quick snap shot of their health on the day, at a convenient location in conjunction with a local rural event – field day, workshop, or event of any kind.

During breaks you can drop into the Stay Well stand, get your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, BMI checked. Early detection is often the key to successful treatment.

A registered nurse is at each site and you will be encouraged to go to your doctor if results are outside World Health Organisation guidelines.

64% of attendees have been referred to their doctor for further investigation.

Of these, 92% had gone for further advice within 3 months.

Local rural events are happening up and down the whole country so I urge you to consider inviting the Stay Well team near you to come and set up site.

Find out more


Advice and support for rural communities   0800 787 254

Find a doctor

Ideas for improving your health and wellbeing

Telephone counselling 24/7  0800 543 354

Get help for depression  0800 111 757

Suicide crisis helpline 24/7

0508 82 88 65