If relevant regulations and improved training requirements
are introduced for agrichemical users as a result of the new
Health and Safety at Work Act, it is likely Growsafe will
rise to the challenge.
Growsafe provides basic and advanced training in the use of
agrichemicals and is run by the New Zealand Agrichemical
Growsafe chairman Graeme Peters said the Government, as part
of the new health and safety requirements, might consider
removing the approved handler regime and replacing it with an
Australian model that tailored training to suit the need,
rather than the present ''one size fits all'' regime.
''We will develop new courses, which will target the client's
specific requirements, ie. courses to cover spraying a
specific crop, or to provide basic training to workers who
might only use agrichemicals very occasionally,'' Mr Peters
As an example, Growsafe introduced a half-day course
specifically for dairy workers last year.
Specialist agrichemical supplier Agrispray and Equipment Ltd
owner and Growsafe trainer Peter Thomson, of Mosgiel, said
altering the approved handler certificate requirements would
have little impact on Growsafe training and best practice
handling of agrichemicals.
''The proposed approved handler changes will mean a higher
reliance on the Growsafe certificate and training,'' Mr
''The NZAE Trust is altering their Growsafe courses to have
greater relevance to specific industry sectors and depending
on what the Wellington bureaucrats decide, the courses might
eventually be similar to the Australian model. ''
However, he warned that users who had chosen to renew the
approved handler certificate only, might eventually regret
not having also renewed their Growsafe certificate at the
same time, as long expired certificates would require users
to re-attend a full course instead of the short renewal
course to meet the requirements.
He said more and more food processing companies were also
requiring primary suppliers to have a current Growsafe
certificate as part their GAP and quality assurance
''It is also important for agrichemical users to be aware
that when they are spraying they are discharging a
contaminant and this activity is governed by the regional Air
Plans as required by the Resource Management Act.
''These regional council Air Plans specify Growsafe as a
course training requirement/qualification for agrichemical
users,'' he said.
- by Yvonne O'Hara