Is Safety Keeping You Awake at Night?

Something that is gaining a lot of traction in agriculture is work health and safety. Over the last year, there has been increasing chatter about safety, and what it means for farming businesses.  With the Work, Health and Safety Act expected to come into effect in March 2022, the changes have bought an increased awareness and anxiety about managing safety on farms.

The changes coming into effect include expanding the duty of care of business owners and senior managers to provide a safe workplace and expanding the definition of a worker to include contractors, volunteers and family members as well as employees, managers and owners. There has also been a significant increase in the penalties for owners and senior managers if a death or injury occurs on the farm. This includes Industrial Manslaughter, where an owner or senior manager can be jailed or fined up to $5 million if a worker dies.

Tragically, serious injury and fatalities are all too common in agriculture. In the last ten months, six people have died working on farms in WA. Almost all of these deaths were related to vehicles and equipment including, tractors, towing, and aircraft. Most recently, a 72-year-old farmer from the Mid-West died jump-starting a tractor to tow a bogged truck.

I understand the new safety laws can be confronting and worrying for farmers, however, it is important to remember they are there to keep the people living and working on your property safe.

Now is the perfect time to review and assess your farm’s safety system. Have you identified the risks on your farm? Do you have adequate controls for those risks? Do you have adequate procedures for the maintenance of vehicles and towing machinery? Have you completed a risk assessment for your farm? Do you induct your staff and provide ongoing safety training?

ProcessWorx is passionate about helping farms manage safety. I would be delighted to personally speak to any farms or agribusinesses concerned about their safety needs to see how we can help. Contact me on (08) 9316 9896 or email enquiries@processworx.com.au

Follow ProcessWorx on LinkedInFacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter to keep up with the latest HR and Safety news.

Written by Danielle McNamee for Farm Weekly

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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.