• Patrick McBride

Tragic Death remembered

This Sunday marks 5 years since the tragic death of Kaye Blance who died as a result of an accident on a Pamu Dairy Unit at Cape Foulwind, near Westport, aged 54.

Pamu staff gather at the memorial site of Kaye Blance.

PHOTO: Supplied.

In a report released by the coroner, it was determined Kaye had became trapped under a quad bike, which weighed almost 300kg, and suffocated.

"This is a dark day in our history and this accident impacted the lives of a lot of people. I know there are many of our workmates who were directly involved during the time of the accident and I pass on my thoughts to them". Pamu business farm manager Cameron Walker told McBride Vision.

"For all of us this weekend is a chance to pay our respects to Kaye and her family and to ensure that we have learned from this tragedy so that we can do everything in our power to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again". Walker said.

Pamu are asking that every team takes some time on Sunday to honour Kaye and ensure they are working hard every day to keep the working family safe.

Tragically the same farm had claimed the life of Renee McNelis in 2010. She died after also becoming trapped under the quad bike she was riding, five days before her 18th birthday.

In 2017 Pamu released a video detailing the six tactics it is using to change the entrenched culture that was making its business unsafe after facing three fatalities in six months.

Pamu stopped using quad bikes following the Blance accident and replaced them with Side by Sides. Health and Safety changes have seen a substantial reduction in incidents across their farms.

Worksafe NZ estimates about 850 people are injured on farms riding quad bikes every year and quad bike accidents make up 28 per cent of work-related farm deaths.