A replay of the webinar hosted by Grain Producers Australia as part of Farm Safety Week 2022 is now available to access online at GPA Training to help share valuable information and resources.
The ‘When the Safety Regulator Arrives’ webinar was hosted by Andrew Barrett, Chief Connector at Safety on Tap and former Executive Officer of the Rural Safety & Health Alliance.
Andrew was joined by other experienced farm safety experts:
• Wendy Black, Lead Inspector Agriculture, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
• John Darcy, Senior Farm Safety Advisor, Victorian Farmers Federation
• Lance Harris, Principal Inspector Safework NSW
The event provided valuable insights such as the importance of viewing farm safety inspectors positively, as a proactive resource who can look objectively, with a fresh set of eyes, to recognise risks and identify where improvements can be made, will help prevent fatalities and injuries.
Wendy said the PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) is responsible for managing health and safety at the workplace.
She said health and safety does not have to be complicated and can be achieved by:
• Understanding your obligations as a PCBU;
• Lead by example by promoting health and safety as a high priority;
• Ensuring safe systems of work;
• Communicating and consulting with workers;
• Inducting workers and others to the workplace and
• Ensuring training and competency is achieved and recorded.
“Improvements can be achieved by making contact with your workplace health and safety regulator and asking for assistance,” Wendy said.
“We’d rather come to your workplace to assist with health and safety than have to come to your workplace following an incident where a worker (or any other person) has been injured or killed.”
John said evidence was a key ingredient of success that’s needed by farmer employers.
“Evidence that shows the employer has identified and controlled risks; evidence that demonstrates maintaining a safe workplace; evidence of training and instruction (e.g. inductions); and evidence of consultation with workers about matters that affect their safety,” he said.
“With the right advice these things can be practically achieved."
Andrew said the webinar provided the audience simple messages about health and safety which are often the most surprising to farmers.
“Small changes to manage risk in your planning, training or communication can be embedded into everyday work quite easily,” he said.
“There is also an enormous amount of help available to farmers to improve health and safety, no different to taking advice from a GRDC webinar or your agronomist.”
GPA Training’s Paul Daniel, also a farmer in South Australia who prioritises farm safety in his own business, said the webinar this week provided an excellent presentation from an expert panel.
“This webinar is a great starting point for any farm business tackling safety or, for the more developed, a chance to benchmark yourself against commentary from regulators,” he said.
“The expert presentation also reinforces the need to engage proactively with farm safety and made clear the expectations of the safety regulator. This GPA Training initiative is also providing Work Health and Safety resources for the Australian Grains Industry.”
Lance said embedding the Work Health and Safety landscape into the workplace is the overarching goal, which meant making safety part of your business and asking these key questions:
· Do you visibly demonstrate leadership and WHS commitment?
· Do you have systems, policies and procedures to manage WHS?
· Do workers have the right skills and attitude to work safety?
· Do you communicate & consult with workers (including contractors and labour hire)?
· Do you provide a safe working environment?
Grain Producers Australia Chair, Barry Large, said Farm Safety Week is also an opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of mental health and the important messages to farmers and rural communities being shared through GPA’s Farmer Mates Mental Health Partnership.
Farm Safety Week 2022 'Recipe for Averting Disaster' DETAILS HERE