How a new phone app could save lives on the farm

A rural cooperative has launched an initiative to make the agriculture industry safer. 

Rural supplies and services co-operative Farmlands has released a free phone app in a bid to make and health and safety easier for farmers. 

According to WorkSafe New Zealand, the agriculture industry is New Zealand's most dangerous to work in. 

As of August, nine people had died in the in the sector this year - seven of them as a result of quad bike or vehicle accidents.

The 'SafeFarm' app aims to turn that around, and has been developed by software company FarmIQ.

It creates a single site for farmers to record core data such as hazards and their risk mitigations, incidents and the learnings from them and emergency equipment locations.

Farmlands chief executive Peter Reidie says Farmlands is keen to see the New Zealand agricultural sector improve its health and safety performance.

"SafeFarm was created to offer our shareholders the opportunity to work safe and get home safe, everyday," he said.

"We consider this free offer the start of the digital farming journey for some of our shareholders."

FarmIQ chief executive Darryn Pegram says it is not easy for farmers to stay on top of their responsibilities and many are looking to their smartphones for apps that can help.

"Our partnership with Farmlands helps many more farmers access best in class health and safety software. It's now easy for Farmlands shareholders to join up all their farm information and keep their farm team safe," he said.

SafeFarm can be downloaded by Farmlands' 68,000 shareholders free of charge from the Farmlands website.