To complement the new rural safety publication "Farming Safely in Tasmania" Safe Farming Tasmania has produced a USB with resources that can be used in conjunction with the guide.
The resources include health and safety policies and safe work procedure templates, publications, information sheets and some other useful information that are all created specifically for the rural sector.
If you would like a USB of these resources please contact AgriGrowth Tasmania on AGT.Admin@dpipwe.tas.gov.au (please include your mailing address) or phone 6777 2233.
Together with the publication, the resources will help you to develop a simple, basic, and most importantly, easy to understand safety management system, that'll help you to clearly communicate your safety rules and messages and keep everyone safe on your farm.
Note the resources on the USB have been developed as part of the Safe Farming Tasmania program and are current as at May 2016. The documents are a guide only and it is the user's responsibility to verify the validity of the information.
Managing Farm Safety
Why do I need a safety management system?
As well as providing a safe workplace, and plant, substances and equipment in a safe condition, health and safety law requires a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking or the old employer) to provide and maintain safe systems of work. A basic safety management system describes to workers and visitors in simple terms how you do that.
What is a safety management system?
A safety management system doesn’t have to be a huge portfolio of documents. It can be as simple as a few basic documents (safety rules) that you put together systematically, to clearly spell out to all concerned what you do to manage safety on your farm, and most importantly, what you expect workers and visitors (and family members) to do to stay safe.
How many documents do I need?
This will vary according to the size and complexities of your farm, but most farmers may only need a few documents. The main ones to get you started will be:
- Spelling out yours and your workers obligations in a health and safety policy.
- Documenting your inductions so that you can be sure (and prove if required) that you have covered off with workers what needs to be discussed about working safely on your farm. An induction checklist is a very good start.
- Encouraging your workers to report hazards that they know of so that you can record and action them.
- Developing some basic safe work procedures for the riskier jobs that workers will be required to do. Things like operating quad bikes, tractors, chain saws etc, communicate them to your workers and make sure they are trained and competent to do these jobs safely. And also make sure that you set a good example by following the rules and procedures your-self.
- Involving your workers and ask for their thoughts and in-put right from the start. That’s good consultation and is very important.
What do I need to tell contractors?
You need to tell any contractors that come onto your farm to do specific work about any hazards on your property, your safety rules, make sure they hold the required insurances and are capable of doing the job safely, and also make sure that any machinery and equipment they bring on to your property is in a safe operational condition.
What about visitors?
You can put visitors to the farm on notice with a warning sign at your main gate that spells out basic hazards, provide contact details for permission to enter your farm and supervise them while they are there. You could also induct them into your safety rules as well.
Good luck with your endeavours to make your farm as safe as you possibly can and remember you can contact Phill John anytime if you need any help or advice.