User-Friendly Manual On Farm Safety and Health

The Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) is in the process of formulating a user-friendly manual uniquely designed for Namibian health and safety conditions and requirements.

In his annual chairman’s report of the AEA, Hellmut Foumlrtsch, says much progress can be reported on the development of Occupational Health and safety (OHS) guidelines for farming in Namibia. He thanks Herman Engelbrecht of Safety Risk services, who at no cost drafted a brochure on Health Safety and Environment for the AEAA. However, he says the AEA management felt that the contents should be “Namibianised”, meaning that the contents should take the extensive farming conditions, the relative isolation of farms and the many different activities on commercial farms into consideration. Group discussions by delegates during the congress gave management more guidance on how to formulate a user-friendly manual.

Meanwhile, the Namibian Agricultural Retirement Fund (NARF) still experiences the same trends as last year in that the numbers of both participating employers as well as farm workers are stagnating. This is probably because of the pending creation of a national pension fund. “The assets of the fund show positive growth despite the global developments and the low interest rates in the capital market,” he notes.

AEA Congress elects new management

The AEA management which was elected for the next year is Hellmut Foumlrtsch has been re-elected as chairperson with Christine Stoman as the new vice chairperson. Jan Wasserfall, Sigi Heimstaumldt and Charlotte Hellinghausen respectively represent the South, Central and North on the management.

Three employer trustees for the pension fund for the farm workers, NARF, were also elected for a three year term. They are Derek Wright, the chairperson as well as Birgit Horsthemke and Marianne Seifert.

Veronica de Klerk was the keynote speaker and her theme was “the team leader and team work” with the farmer as team leader who clearly communicate the tasks with his workers and also motivates them. Derek Wright inter alia expressed his concern about the lack of cooperation from the Ministry of Labour to make things happen in agriculture. Helmut Halenke gave useful tips to congress delegates about the passing of a farm to the next generation. His aice to elderly farmers was that there must be communication with your wife and children.

The congress delegates formed five groups to discuss health and safety matters on farms. From these discussions the management was requested by congress to continue to compile a user friendly manual for health and safety on farms and to release it for use.

Jan Wasserfall concluded a successful congress with the vote of thanks which included the two sponsors, Safety Risk Services and Agra.

Source : New Era