We often get asked about these topics. The first consideration is for the safety and well-being of everyone on the farm. Some pro-active steps to achieve this could include: 1. Ensure WWOOFers are not involved in typically dangerous activities e.g. machinery, tractors, ATV bikes. 2. Explain and demonstrate jobs thoroughly. Ask WWOOFers to explain their understanding of how to do different jobs (sometimes WWOOFers may say “Yes, I understand” to try and be helpful). WWOOFers may be willing but they often do not have the experience or expertise to use them safely. While ACC WILL cover travelers in the event of an accident (there is usually a $50 admin fee), OSH requires farmers to manage their farm in a safe manner. 3. All travellers should have some form of travel insurance to cover them in the case of lost belongings or if they come ill.
Here is a link to more information about how to manage Health an Safety on your farm: https://wwoof.nz/office-news/safe-wwoof-farms-and-the-new-hswa-act/
Who is liable when accidents happen?
We strongly recommend all hosts have insurance for their properties, including public liability.
As an example a host who presented a certain scenario to us which we would like to share and from a WWOOFer who asked a few questions which needed researching.
A host wrote to us about a WWOOFer who had left a gate open which resulted with a calf getting out on the road and being hit by a car. The driver of the car wasn’t hurt but there was considerable damage to the car. The host was insured to cover that damage, if they hadn’t been insured the financial loss could have been significant. We thought we’d share this to highlight the importance of making sure you are covered, including liability insurance. If in doubt, talk to your insurance company and ask if you have adequate cover!
We also had a message from a couple of WWOOFers who were trying to do just that – getting personal liability cover against injuring other people or losing or breaking other peoples’ property. After writing to three insurers who we know cover volunteers, we were told that they are unable offer personal liability cover for volunteers as it is the property which needs to be insured and the assumption is that the host has got it covered
We’re Welcome On Organic Farms