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Health and Safety: the new Act and alpaca farming

WorkSafe New Zealand came up to assess our farm and help us put some guidelines together for the alpaca industry, as requested by the National Commitee (Pete works in heavy construction so it is his thing). WorkSafe are all about making it practical and easy so we'll have some very user-friendly suggestions shortly. These will be peer reviewed by WorkSafe and sent to the Alpaca Association for circulation. There will also be an article for the magazine.

In advance of all that I thought that I would post some suggestions that WorkSafe made for open days as the national open day is coming up.

Firstly, identify any hazards and then minimise risk. We identified unsupervised children and rather chaotic car parking from last year's when we unexpectedly got 200 visitors. So this is what we'd put in place:

1) More helpers with one stationed all day on car parking duty. Helpers (even family) are essentially volunteers and need to be given a briefing so you are all on the same page. Take them through a list of potential hazards and your steps to minimise risk and ensure they have your mobile number and know what to do in an emergency.

2) We have heaps of hi-viz jackets so we'd get them out to make us and our helpers easily identifiable.

3) We already use signage to identify which way people should go but we would use cones to block people from accessing parts of the farm not open to the public.

4) We would use a big whiteboard that everyone has to pass to ask people to supervise their kids and list any other hazards such as the electric fence. If people are interacting with the animals at your Open Day, you could list some pointers too. We would also add our mobile number to contact us in an emergency as we are around the back doing our thing and not visible from the car park / entrance.

5) We don't have a retail space and just put a display on our deck but for those of you that do, make sure that it is fit for purpose and not next to any equipment or other hazards. Please share any other suggestions in the comments :)

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