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Work Health and Safety (WHS)

Objective: Provide a safe workplace to prevent injury or deaths. Meet health and safety obligations.

Meeting the Requirments

  • Employers must as far as reasonably practicable provide a safe workplace and system of work so that employees (workers), advisers and contractors are not harmed or injured at work.

  • Within your chain of responsibility:

    • take all reasonably practicable safety measures to eliminate or minimise potential harm or loss.

    • comply with regulatory requirements for dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals transport and storage.

  • Ensure machinery and equipment is appropriate for its use and is maintained.

  • Regularly work through these steps for managing farm safety as defined in legislation:

    • Consult - Ensure staff, advisors and contractors are involved in (consulted about) WHS hazards. Record WHS meetings.

    • Identify Hazards - Develop a Work Health and Safety Plan to regularly identify WHS hazards.

    • Assess and Control Risks - Identify machinery and tasks that are a risk for workers; take action to eliminate these risks or develop procedures to control or manage risks that cannot be eliminated.

    • Review - Review and revise risk control measures regularly and when potential new risks arise.

    • Administrative Control - Make sure workers are equipped to work safely:

      • Safety induction of all staff and contractors that includes the understanding of known hazards/risks (eg a checklist), worksite preferred controls for these, emergency procedures and contact details.

      • Training and instruction - train workers how to use machinery safely and make sure that safe work procedures are followed. Ensure that all persons are properly trained for the work they are assigned.

      • Records - maintain a register of staff training and induction.

      • Personal protective equipment - provide safety equipment and clothing where necessary for the specific situation and workers. eg dust protection may be needed for asthmatics.

      • Providing amenities for workers - eg toilets, meals rooms.

      • Safety facilities - provide First Aid training and kits, fire extinguishers and emergency plans.

      • Reporting safety - establish a system for workers to report hazards, injuries and serious near-miss incidents. Act upon these reports.

Other Practices to Consider in Your Grain Farming Enterprise

  • Participating in ongoing training and updates.

  • Ensuring all staff and contractors have clear understanding of roles, risks and tasks.

  • Preparing written agreements with all contractors outlining responsibilities of both parties.

  • Keeping copies of contractors’ insurances including Public Liability and/or Personal Accident Insurance or Workers’ Compensation Certificates of Currency.

  • Keeping copies of the licenses and accreditations held by contractors.

  • Advising staff, contractors and advisors of re-entry periods after chemical applications or treatments, including recording and clearly displaying these details at a central location and on silos.

Safety Considerations in Grain Farming Systems Include:

  • Agricultural chemicals - Notification and signage for fumigation and re-entry periods. Users meet state requirements for chemical accreditation (in most cases, training at AQF3AQF3). Chemical stores and use areas will have necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and First Aid kit, spill recovery kit and emergency eye wash. PPE is provided and used as required by workers and contractors. Spray contractors have a WHS plan.

  • Silos - Meet the current national Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice for working in confined spaces and at heights (Managing Risks of Falls).

  • Fatigue - Particularly a risk during harvest and other busy periods.

  • Machinery and equipment - Guarding of hazards such as exposed pulleys, drive belts, PTOs, chaser bins and augers, etc.

  • Quad bikes in both work and recreational uses.

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