The launch of the Pāmu Academy today marks the next step in Pāmu Farms of New Zealand’s safety leadership journey.
Pāmu CEO Steve Carden says the Pāmu Academy, a joint venture with Australian health and safety specialists, Wilson Consulting Group, is a transformative initiative that plugs a gap in the safety leadership market.
“At Pāmu, we have been on a safety journey that has taken us from the tragic deaths of three staff in the space of six months, to the launch today of what we believe is a game changer in the agriculture sector.
“After the tragedies on our farms, we completely re-evaluated our approach to safety and looked for the training we needed to bring about a new approach. There was simply no one else offering the sort of tailored, leadership focused safety programs that we needed.
“After running programs for our own staff and some agri-sector partners, we recognised that there was a significant need for this level of training, and a gap in the market, and the Pāmu Academy was born.
“We have seen a turnaround in our safety performance, our safety culture and a flow on effect to improved operational efficiencies, thanks to the approach to safety leadership that we have developed with Wilsons.
“We now want to bring the insights and learnings from our approach to the wider industry, and indeed any business that needs to change their safety culture,” Mr Carden said.
Along with leadership programs, the Pāmu Academy also offers mental wellness programs and is working with industry leaders on the wider issues of critical risks, contractors and competency framework.
“In the agriculture sector in particular mental health and well-being is a real issue, and the Pāmu Academy is proud to offer specific programs which deal with this difficult subject,” Mr Carden said.
Ben Wilson, Managing Director of Wilson Consulting Group aid the current rate of harm across the New Zealand agriculture sector is alarming and hasn’t improved in the last five years.
“A paradigm shift is required if we are going to make a difference and this starts with engaging both the leaders of industry and on farms,” Mr Wilson said.
“The Pāmu Academy is a great initiative which brings the agricultural industry together in a collaborative approach to making this shift across industry, leader by leader, team member by team member - from contractor to customer.
“Wilson Consulting has been working with leading global organisations and industry bodies for over 12 years globally, and to see the commitment and leadership coming from the New Zealand agriculture sector demonstrates the personal ownership that is required to make a shift in safety thinking possible. Part of that shift requires a willingness to work in collaboration for the betterment of all, which is what we are seeing launched today,” Mr Wilson said.
WorkSafe CEO Nicole Rosie welcomed the launch of the Pāmu Academy. “Healthy and safe practice and leadership needs to start within the farm gate. Pāmu is a major operator and employer in New Zealand’s agricultural sector, it is great to see them taking a responsible step to initiate safety leadership in farming,” Ms Rosie said.
Pāmu Academy General Manager, Rebecca Keoghan says she will bring her passion for safety to the role.
“I am a firm believer that safety leadership has a direct relationship with business performance.
“I have seen this first hand on my own complex of seven farms in the Buller region, on the West Coast. The improvements in safety culture we have made have led to improved leading safety indicators by over 500%, while reducing lagging indicators by the same magnitude and have also led to improved operational, environmental, cost and quality improvements,” Ms Keoghan said.
The Pāmu Academy is a 50/50 joint venture initiative between Landcorp Farming Limited, the legal name of Pāmu Farms of New Zealand and Wilson Consulting Group of Australia.
A full schedule of health and safety leadership and mental health specific training is now being offered for 2018. Details at www.pamuacademy.co.nz