Tractor Guarding

Farm work health and safety is a crucial aspect of life on any farm, as there are many potential risks and dangers involved in farm work and the farming environment. This includes tractor safety, and particularly tractor guarding. Tractors are one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment on Australian farms. Safety hazards such as loose clothing can easily be caught in inappropriately guarded tractors, and so it is imperative that all working tractors comply with Australian safety standards. According to the Worksafe handbook for the “Safe use of tractors with attachments” -

Many farmers have been killed or injured after becoming entangled in unguarded or poorly guarded hazardous parts of a tractor. It is critical that moving parts are guarded as far as is reasonably practicable to provide the highest level of protection to workers. Plant operators must also be instructed and trained on safe work maintenance procedures which may also include a person exclusion zone for the work area.

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Emergency Preparedness for farms and farm workers

Farm work can involve a high risk of danger – especially when employees are working with heavy machinery, chemicals, or remote locations. This is why health and safety procedures are so important on farms, and Farm Managers need to be prepared for any emergencies that may arise on their watch.

Emergency preparedness in a farming environment includes implementing:

  • The availability of appropriate First Aid kits
  • First Aid training
  • A farm Emergency Plan
  • An Emergency Contact card in appropriate places

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Keeping Farm Workers Safe

It can seem like the job of keeping workers on your farm safe is never-ending. Farm managers have the difficult task of keeping everything running smoothly whilst also juggling OSH policies and regulations – and sometimes it can be hard to know where to start or how best to implement safety rules for farm work, especially when it seems like sometimes you are stating the obvious. This blog provides resources and links to checklists that can help you implement health and safety procedures on your farm.

According to the law as stated by the Department of Commerce Agricultural Safety and Health Checklist.

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Inducting Farm Workers

When introducing a new farm worker or farm manager to your farm, it’s important to follow an induction process, especially when it comes to safety - farm work, after all, can be dangerous if the right safety guidelines are not adhered to. The Farmsafe Online Safety Induction Tool can help.

A safety induction is necessary for a farming environment for obvious reasons. No employee should be allowed to carry out farm work before such an induction has been overseen, no matter if they are a farm manager working mostly from an office or a farm worker dealing with dangerous machinery or environments.

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How To Manage Employment Termination of Farm Workers

No matter the reason for an employee’s termination, such circumstances must be handled in a careful and professional manner. If you are dismissing an employee (such as a Farm Worker or Farm Manager), it is imperative to follow a fair dismissal procedure to reduce risk of legal action, to safeguard your reputation, and to keep up good morale within the workplace.

If you are classed as a small business (applies to business employers who employ less than 15 people – including all Farm Workers and Farm Managers) then The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code applies to you. Whilst not compulsory, it is highly recommended that you take the Code into account and follow its directions if you need to terminate an employee. The Code provides employers with an assessment checklist to help record your reasons for dismissing an employee and to ensure that you have followed all the steps of The Code.

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