Safe WWOOF Farms and the New HSWA Act - August 9, 2016

With the recent changes to The Health and Safety At Work Act 2015 (HSWA), we really wanted to make sure that we understood our obligations as an organisation and also make sure that we could answer your questions and give simple advice and guidelines.

This got us thinking about the health and safety of our WWOOFers, and that it isn’t just about what WorkSafe wants us to do, but more about what each of us can do to keep our WWOOFers safe.

For safe WWOOF farms we recommend:
1. Identify hazards on your farm
2. Protect people from the hazards
3. Educate every new visitor about the hazards

For Step 1:  Identify hazards on your farm: We recommend you make a list of hazards on your property. An example of what this could look like is below:
WWOOF Risk Register Example

You can download a blank copy of this form. Complete this by filling in details specific to your farm.

For Step 2: Protect people from the hazards: Ideally this means remove the hazard altogether, for example, don’t allow any access to chainsaws. If a hazard can not be removed then it should be isolated or minimised. This means using the appropriate safety guards, eye protection, helmets, earmuffs etc. An important part of this is also qualifications and experience. If someone has no experience in placing and climbing a ladder then this will be far more hazardous than someone who can show they have been using ladders in previous situations.

For Step 3. Educate every new visitor about the hazards: Someone new to your property will not be familiar with your environment and hazards may not be immediately obvious. A good way to raise awareness is to go through a quick checklist about your property. An example of what this could look like is below:

WWOOF HSWA Checklist

WWOOF HSWA Checklist

You can download a blank PDF of this form. If you would like to edit the form you can download a blank Excel File of this form.  Print a copy of the form and go through it with each new WWOOFer.

If you need help with managing specific hazards on your property or have any questions you can also contact WorkSafe directly via or 0800 030 040!