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Can we improve health and safety on kiwifruit orchards using software solutions.

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Executive summary

Following the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) and a fatality on a kiwifruit orchard in 2016, the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry has begun a journey on improving health and safety practices on orchard. There has recently been a proliferation of software solutions to support on-orchard health and safety. This study aims to investigate the opportunities for using software solutions on kiwifruit orchards to improve health and safety.

A literature review exploring the diffusion of innovations theory and safety culture was completed. Fifteen stakeholders from the kiwifruit industry were interviewed covering growers, contractors and packhouses to investigate the current state of health and safety in the industry and explore the industries appetite for adoption of software solutions to support health and safety. The questions investigated what was important in health and safety solutions and how software solutions were beneficial over paper systems as well as the perceived barriers to adoption.
 
It was found that there is an opportunity to improve health and safety on New Zealand kiwifruit orchards using software solutions. For these solutions to be adopted and the improvements realised several factors addressing culture, awareness and the solutions themselves must be considered.
 
This report makes five recommendations:
  1. Develop case studies of short listed software solutions to increase awareness
  2. Commission a specific kiwifruit industry health and safety culture campaign
  3. Explore best of breed software solutions for all aspects of health and safety on orchards
  4. Investigate the development of a common data sharing platform for health and safety information
  5. Investigate opportunities to facilitate the enforcement of improved health and safety practices without fear of commercial implications