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Beekeeper fatality

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On 2/28/2018 at 7:23 AM, jamesc said:

prior,proper prevention prevents p poor prformance:3_grin:

..and poop

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On 2/27/2018 at 6:42 PM, jamesc said:

Interesting ..... I went back to a site today  I had dropped bees off at the w/e in the dark. Part of the track had collapsed, which I saw in the dark , but  1m in was a large crack in the ground where more of the track was getting ready of slide off down into the gully. Every operation almost needs a full time H&S person to be checking out hazards. 

I guess this is where scale comes into play ..... being able to afford to pay for the extra manpower to do all the little jobs that seem insignificant but are actually quite important. 

I never work at night now , its not worth the risks

If I need to shift hives I do it early or wet or latish and leave a hive or two behind

Edited by Philbee

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Had hives in the farm next door where the fatality occurred.

Would not attempt  going in or out unless it had been dry for a few days.

Even dew could turn the place into a no go.

Last time we pulled out hives out of there was a very stressful moment to try to beat the incoming drizzle.

Very sad outcome for the young beek.

We have plenty of dodgy access places that stress me.

At the end of the day the driver of the vehicle has to check the terrain and get out of the vehicle to check the suitability of the terrain in relation to his gear and abilities.

We've had to call it off many times and sometimes leave our vehicles behind.

I always think I'd  rather live than get my bees in or out.

Personally I wouldn't blame any of our farmers for access issues. We agree to the existing conditions and we have to reassess the terrain every time we go back in or out.

If you don't feel comfortable with any situation.

Don't do it and ask your staff how they feel about it.

I wish this didn't happen poor kid and his family.

 

 

 

 

 

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The way I look at situations like this :

If you're unsure

- is your life or someone's life at risk ?

Then the answer is don't do it

- is the risk only material like land your ute on a tree 3 meters away or slide down a few meters to a flat spot etc..then the answer is yes you can risk it...

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I face far more danger on public roads every day than I do when on farms. If a site is not normally accessible by two wheel drive then I'm not interested. I had one good manuka site where the track deteriorated over a number of years to the point when one day I came within a few inches of going over. The next time was dry enough I moved the hives out and in the end I actually paid to have a new metalled track put in. Contrary to OHS opinion there are things that are worth risking your life for but honey isn't one of them.

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We live next to the young boys uncle. He was here this arvo for Friday drinks and is still very upset about it. We have discussed at length with our crew about how easy this can happen. The boss and I don't  sleep at night until we hear the trucks come home at night/early mornings.   At the moment we have a situation  with a DOC site where the road has started washing away and the hives are due to come home. We are definitely going to helicopter  them out to the nearby camp site to load them up. In our  minds a little expense is worth it for the safety of our staff. The annoying part is the road was washed out during last year's floods, there was a DOC worker there last week and he said yeah we are getting a digger in but we have waited months for them to fix it and still have to pay for access all the while it is getting  worse.  

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On 3/1/2018 at 3:50 PM, Philbee said:

I never work at night now , its not worth the risks

If I need to shift hives I do it early or wet or latish and leave a hive or two behind

 

That is exactly what I do too.  

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On 2/25/2018 at 6:10 PM, kaihoka said:

So if the landowner has done all the paperwork and pointed out the hazards work safe will not pursue him .

I wonder how I should proceed.

I have five  11 kv  poles on my place and some hair raising access tracks that even network Tasman are loath to  go down .

The luge, they call one.

If they had an accident am I liable , I am legally obliged to give them access.

I have $1000000 public liability insurance.

There is a lot of hype about WorkSafe and the imposition of OSH practices.  I have worked with OSH in Australia and NZ at the highest levels.  It is fundamentally not about the paper work it is about the communication and work practices.  At the risk of committing myself to paper, I have 8 apiary sites in partnership with my farmer neighbour.  I transverse steep slopes and wet conditions to get where I am going.  Is there anything unusual about that, no.   Do we record an OSH assessment of weather conditions, steep slopes, lifting etc NO.  What we do do is discuss things like it is going to be wet, lets take the Hi Lux, just do three apiaries because it is going to be hot and I will be ######ed at the end of the day.  You got your water, yep lets go for it.  If you have an explanation of your approach to being safe then I would be surprised if you would be called out.   If your a commercial operator then it is important to communicate the same information on a broader scale if you  employ staff.  If there is an investigation and your staff are interviewed they need to tell the right story, that is our work practices are safe because ..........!

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The beekeeper who, further up the thread, said he used to have hives next door was kicked off specifically for not following the access conditions stipulated by the farm manager. 

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On 10/03/2018 at 9:15 PM, Merk said:

The beekeeper who, further up the thread, said he used to have hives next door was kicked off specifically for not following the access conditions stipulated by the farm manager. 

Yes the forecast was for a week of rain in the autumn which means the hives would have most likely been stuck all winter. Conditions were good when we went in but the farm manager was unreasonable. We made a collective decision to go in after one of us drove a ute down to check the track. The farm owner was ok with it though, he was there as we were taking the hives out . Had we listened to the farm manager we would have been forced to go in in poor conditions which means we wouldn't have gone in at all. We came out all good without a hitch.

 

 

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On 10/03/2018 at 9:15 PM, Merk said:

The beekeeper who, further up the thread, said he used to have hives next door was kicked off specifically for not following the access conditions stipulated by the farm manager. 

I think it was more an excuse for the farm manager to put his mate hives in instead of ours rather than a valid reason to kick us off. But I cant be bothered with this kind of politics.

Point is we assessed the conditions that day and it was fine. The farm owner was there and aware and agreed for us to take the hives out.

We believed the farm manager was unreasonable.  Whatever a farm manager says to you, take the advice but you still need to assess the terrain at all times specially in dodgy sites.

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If by "agreed for us to take our hives out" you mean  "told us to fork off and never come back" I suppose you're correct in a roundabout sort of way. 

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I can understand a manager's perspective if he/she isn't the one with the commercial imperative, but carries the can anyway.

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Yeah the manager was furious, and the beekeeper went against instructions. 

 

But apparently the beekeeper had assessed it and it was all car pie...... 

 

I have a couple of guys working for me who've worked for Padme and they reckon it's a miracle that nobody has been killed in that outfit, yet. 

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Yo, Merk and Padre.  Maybe stop slugging it out on here, obvious there's personal issues here, though it's gone off topic.  Surprised Admin hasn't sorted this out already.   

 

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23 minutes ago, Lindaloo26 said:

Surprised Admin hasn't sorted this out already.   

Admin likes the gossip as much as the rest of us. 

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On 18/03/2018 at 7:32 PM, Lindaloo26 said:

Yo, Merk and Padre.  Maybe stop slugging it out on here, obvious there's personal issues here, though it's gone off topic.  Surprised Admin hasn't sorted this out already.   

 

Obviously it's Merk who is getting personal I was trying to stay on subject.

All I know Merk is you're confusing an incident that happened with another company with another contractor with a casual guy that did a few days for us and a few days for that other company so get your facts right.

If the farm manager is being unreasonable in restricting access then of course we're not going to listen to him. Your own contracts stipulate that Merk!!!

That farm was hard work with lots of expectations on bush honey with a farm manager that has some power struggle problems.

Too hard basket for me glad we out of there. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Padre said:

Obviously it's Merk who is getting personal I was trying to stay on subject.

All I know Merk is you're confusing an incident that happened with another company with another contractor with a casual guy that did a few days for us and a few days for that other company so get your facts right.

If the farm manager is being unreasonable in restricting access then of course we're not going to listen to him. Your own contracts stipulate that Merk!!!

That farm was hard work with lots of expectations on bush honey with a farm manager that has some power struggle problems.

Too hard basket for me glad we out of there. 

 

I think Merk just likes  a good slug .....:9_innocent:    I knew a shepherd once called Slug .

Edited by jamesc

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I do love a good dust up, but that's not what I'm up to here. 

I'm 100% confident that my information is correct.  

If it's not clear already, I'm not the beekeeper who took @Padre place at the property next to the one that had the fatality, so I don't have any personal interest in this story. I do know the beekeeper who is there now and I know the manager and the owner, which is how I heard what went down, just across the valley from where the fatality happened. 

They're not unreasonable guys, they're just protecting themselves, and also the beekeeper and his workers. Under H&S laws the manager has a personal duty of care to the beekeeper, and is liable for imprisonment and/or 600k fine if the unthinkable happens. The owner, as a director of the company has even more liability. 

 

When the bloke was killed this month it shook the community up there and I think its made all of the landowners re-think beekeeper access. And I'd say any beekeeper who thinks it's his place to override the land owner's safety concerns will  find himself in the same situation as @Padre. You can argue that they're being unreasonable until the cows come home, but if you compare millions of dollars in H&S liability with a couple of grand for apiary fees and I'd give the beekeeper the boot too.

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Merk said:

I do love a good dust up, but that's not what I'm up to here. 

I'm 100% confident that my information is correct.  

If it's not clear already, I'm not the beekeeper who took @Padre place at the property next to the one that had the fatality, so I don't have any personal interest in this story. I do know the beekeeper who is there now and I know the manager and the owner, which is how I heard what went down, just across the valley from where the fatality happened. 

They're not unreasonable guys, they're just protecting themselves, and also the beekeeper and his workers. Under H&S laws the manager has a personal duty of care to the beekeeper, and is liable for imprisonment and/or 600k fine if the unthinkable happens. The owner, as a director of the company has even more liability. 

 

When the bloke was killed this month it shook the community up there and I think its made all of the landowners re-think beekeeper access. And I'd say any beekeeper who thinks it's his place to override the land owner's safety concerns will  find himself in the same situation as @Padre. You can argue that they're being unreasonable until the cows come home, but if you compare millions of dollars in H&S liability with a couple of grand for apiary fees and I'd give the beekeeper the boot too.

 

 

 

 

@Merk

You weren't there that day

You didn't see the conditions

You didn't experience the attitude of the farm manager

You don't have any comments to make on what happened there

We're super fussy when it comes to access safety and conditions

And yes the incident that just happened with that young beekeeper will change the beekeeping landscape to a different measure depending on the outcome .

And yes Merk you're the most intelligent, most clever and most amazing beekeeper out there, hands down...you're like a God to us mortals out there ...

 

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Just a side note

Farm managers can be total twats
They often go well beyond their authority because they are often just minions.
I make sure that my first point of contact is the "Land Owner" and I make sure that the Manager knows that it is the Land Owner who I answer too.

My interaction with the managers is merely a organisational matter to ensure that our two operations dont clash in a way that might cause harm / loss to farm and Beek business, property etc
The Manager must know that the Beek has a contractual right to be there and he must act strictly within his job description and the law of course but no more

 

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@Philbee I'm pretty careful to respect and if possible build a relationship with the manager. In my experience if you get on the wrong side of the manager you're stuffed, especially if they're doing a good job on the farm. If the manager wants the beekeeper gone, the owners have to make a choice:

1: keep the beekeeper and risk upsetting the manager, who's responsible for their primary business, perhaps even losing them or;

2: dump the beek and forgo a side income stream or better yet, get a better one and keep their manager happy. 

 

Annoy the manager at your own risk. Esp with h&s issues, you're stuffed. 

 

@Padre, O/T, these yours? 

 

 

Resized_20180320_084156_7557.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Merk said:

@Philbee I'm pretty careful to respect and if possible build a relationship with the manager. In my experience if you get on the wrong side of the manager you're stuffed, especially if they're doing a good job on the farm. If the manager wants the beekeeper gone, the owners have to make a choice:

1: keep the beekeeper and risk upsetting the manager, who's responsible for their primary business, perhaps even losing them or;

2: dump the beek and forgo a side income stream or better yet, get a better one and keep their manager happy. 

 

Annoy the manager at your own risk. Esp with h&s issues, you're stuffed. 

 

@Padre, O/T, these yours? 

 

 

Resized_20180320_084156_7557.jpeg

Might be

PM me the location  and I'll check

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@Padre They're outside a kiwifruit orchard in the BOP that I consult for. There's quite a few, all dead from what looks like varroa. Looks like they've been left behind accidentally at pollination. 

The design is distinctive, the owner (beekeeper is perhaps not the appropriate term here) would most likely recognise them. 

Edited by Merk

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