Safety is a very serious business, one that is avoided more often than not on-farm for similar reasons as to why damaged posts and old tubes accumulate in heaps. It takes time and money! Safety legislation provides for severe financial and criminal penalties to both individuals and the business. Whilst farmers may consider that the legislation does not apply to them because they only employ seasonal workers, or perhaps don’t employ at all, the legislation is still applicable. It is a legal requirement for the business to have an active safe system of work. Most farmers do not.
Several times in recent months this column has promoted ‘Safe Ag Systems’, a cloud based software program along with an app, that has been developed to allows users real time access to their work health and safety management systems.
The program has been developed in compliance with Australian WHS laws and can be customised to suit any agricultural or horticultural agribusiness. Importantly, it was developed by farmers, for farmers.
Safe Ag Systems provide easy access to many of the resources that make this tedious topic much more approachable including: WHS policies and induction programs, emergency management templates, worker – fitness for work programs, a training register and many other helpful features. It need NOT cost a bomb but it will remove worry, reduce and avoid massive penalties. WHS obligations on business owners are now exactly the same as any other industry (This link explains the legislation Familiar principles with a new approach.)
More information will be provided as part of the May meetings. Riverland Wine is working with Safe Ag Systems to plan Riverland Workshops in the region in June to Show ‘n Tell just how easily the systems can be integrated into any winegrowing business. Watch this space but also log on and look at the website.