During August TomatoesNZ facilitated a workshop with a small group of covered crop growers and specialists to discuss key areas of concern when managing workplace practices in glasshouse operations. The group included representatives from tomato, capsicum and cucumber growing operations with both operational and health & safety expertise.
The group focused on glasshouse tasks and situations that the industry recognises require some caution, and discussed development of best practice guidance through sharing good practice ideas and suggestions for the industry.
Management of the following areas were discussed during the workshop:
- Piperail trolleys
- Glass breakage
- Roof washing
- Agrichemical and residue compliance
- Structures and working at height
From the workshop a guidance document on industry best practice is being updated, with the next steps involving input from local machinery suppliers and industry trainers. Once available, this information will be shared with members on both the TomatoesNZ and Vegetables NZ member websites.
TomatoesNZ are also developing a project to look at potential new labour-saving devices and/or techniques for the glasshouse cropping industry. It is in the early stages, but may involve: assessing tasks or points in the production and packing system where labour efficiency could be improved; and/or integrating already-available technology and hardware to engineer something that automates a labour-intensive repetitive task. If you have any thoughts, please get in touch.