John Brosnan explains why it is important to know how to explain to emergeny services where you are, especially during a stressful time

Short headline: 
Where are you, right now?

By John Brosnan*

Where are you right now?

Sound like a daft question?

You could say “well I’m right here” …and that is where?

Agriculture is the most dangerous industry in New Zealand by statistics.

And if you have ever had to call 111 in an emergency one of the first things they will ask you is “Where are you?” 

In order to help you they need directions to get there.

That sounds simple “I’m on Farming Way Road, off No. 42 Road, off SH 62 just out of Townsville. Our farm is on the right 750m down the road dairy number 79865, look for the massive steel feed silo (or we will have someone at the gate waiting for you)”.

But now add in the stress that someone has just been hurt – could you give an accurate description of exactly where you are for an ambulance or air ambulance to be sent to you? 

What landmarks do you know of that you can provide in addition to your road address.

Also how long is your road? How far along it is your farm?

Do your new employees have this same knowledge – just case it is you that is hurt and they are making the call?

It is this useful information the 111 service need as there are dozens of roads around New Zealand with the same name.

As the season and summer race past and we get a chance to catch up on tasks and plan ahead to next season, now is a good time to go over your on farm health and safety policies.

Maybe adding in some reference points that would be accurate and easy to provide grid points to emergency services is something your policy could use?

It is also a good time to plan to get your health and safety consultant out on farm to keep your policies live so that we are doing all we can to take agriculture off the number one spot as the most dangerous work environment in the country.

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John Brosnan is a business development adviser at CooperAitken Ltd, accountants in Morrinsville and Matamata. You can contact him here