Welcome to GrainGrowers Limited Workforce Health and Safety resources – designed with the grower in mind. Our Farm Safety course aims to provide practical, useful tools for grain growers to improve their workplace health and safety practices on the farm, particularly around machinery. This project has been made possible through the National Farm Safety Education Fund and is a partnership between Grain Growers Limited, House Paddock Training and Ben White and Josh Giumelli.
Introduction to Farm Safety
As a grain grower, why should you be interested in farm workforce health and safety?
The answer to that is pretty simple! Farming is a dangerous industry to work in. In fact, it's one of the most dangerous industries in Australia. In addition, farms are a unique workplace as they often double as our homes, where we mix work and pleasure, our children are often a part of our workforce, and visitors are a common addition. For these reasons, we must be extra vigilant.
SOURCE: Safe Work Australia. Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia
SOURCE: Farmsafe - Safer Farms, Agricultural Injury and Fatality TREND REPORT
Your responsibilities for farm safety
There are two elements that make farming noteworthy in the safety space. Firstly, farming environments are unpredictable and change from day to day. They are impacted by weather, and conditions can deteriorate with little to no notice. In addition, many of the activities we carry out on farms are high risk. Working at heights, confined spaces, electrical and hot work, workshop activities and, of course machinery, equipment and vehicles.
And if that doesn’t pique your interest to continually improve your business’ farm safety, also remember we are legally required to do so. The Work Health and Safety act of 2011 has one main aim - to ensure no one is injured or killed in the workplace. That's not really a big ask.
The legislation is underpinned by a series of regulations, codes of practice and Australian standards, all which outline the requirements of business owners and managers to send people home in the same condition they arrived at work in.
So as a business owner or manager, what do you have to do?
Above and beyond running a business and producing an agricultural product, you have one responsibility that should come before all else. And that's to ensure people aren’t injured or killed in the workplace. As a business owner or manager, you can do this in three ways:
- Create a safe workplace.
- Show due diligence through creation of safe systems of work.
- Consult with your workforce.
In addition, you need to keep appropriate records and evidence of the above.
There are many areas of our farming businesses that we need to pay attention to, to ensure our team is safe. Why is machinery the focus of this Farm Safety course?
Well, over half of the fatalities in agriculture involve a piece of machinery or equipment, and grain growing is a highly mechanised industry. It’s also as good a place to start as any!
Safety and machinery
Generally when operating machinery, there are a few things you can do irrespective of the type, make or model of the machine. You can ensure:
- The right piece of equipment is used to do the job safely and effectively.
- Machinery is maintained to manufacturers' specifications, including having all guarding in place.
- All operators are trained and competent to operate machinery and equipment safely and within manufacturers' guidelines.
Refresh your farm safety awareness with our Farm Safety course
Step through each of the four farm safety topics for additional information that's specific to individual pieces of equipment and process on a broadacre farm.
At the end of each topic, be sure to download the checklist on the right-hand side of the page to determine what changes YOU can make in YOUR farming business.
Grower wellbeing resources
Staying safe on farm includes looking after your mental health and wellbeing. GrainGrowers has complied a list of wellbeing support services and resources available here.
Resources for everyone on farm
If you ever have international workers on the farm, the GrainGrowers Farm Safety workbook has been translated into three languages - German, French and Italian.