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WorkSafe New Zealand is urging farmers to buckle up after an analysis of vehicle-related fatalities found that nearly half of those that occur on farm could have been avoided if a seat belt was being used.

The data analysis, compiled by WorkSafe, revealed not wearing seat belts while on the job was the largest single factor contributing to fatal work-related accidents. The analysis showed that non seatbelt use was relevant in 40 per cent of vehicle-related fatalities on farms and 27 per cent of all fatalities on farms.

Analysis also revealed that the older you were, the more likely you were to injure yourself from not wearing a seatbelt in an on-farm incident.

WorkSafe said if all agricultural workers wore seatbelts, claim costs to the region’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) could be reduced by almost $2 million a year.