Controlling Risk On The Farm
A performance-based approach to safety in the workplace means farmers need to take preventative action to reduce hazards and avoid injuries to workers. Carrying out on-farm risk assessments is vital, particularly in light of strict legislation being enforced Australia wide.
Occupational Safety & Health regulatory authorities can enter and inspect workplaces, usually following a death or serious injury. But they also target workplaces pro-actively to ensure workplaces are safe.
Current occupation Safety & Health legislation in Australia takes a performance or risk–based approach.
Codes Of Practice
Performance or risk-based regulations work by setting broad goals. Practical guidance in achieving these goals is offered by approved industry Codes of Practice. While employers can adopt other means to achieve the goals, they need to be as effective as those recommended in the Codes of Practice and based on a risk assessment. Codes of Practice are downloadable at SafetyLine.wa.gov.au
Recording Risk Assessment
Risks assessments will usually result in a range of control measures and usually include safe work practices and PPE. Write these as standard operating procedures to ensure they are followed. Forms can be developed to create a whole system for a farm.
Forms can include hazard identification; risk assessments for equipment and contract work; registers for induction, occupational safety and health committee or representative training; content outlined for induction training and on the job training; injury report forms and return to work plans; incident report forms notifying State regulatory authorities of death or serious injury that has occurred in the workplace.
Review Risk Control Measures
It is important to identify what is needed to ensure a safe workplace, and then develop an annual action plan. This involves setting priorities, scheduling items for action and recording whether or not they have been carried out and on time.
Even if nothing adverse has happened on farm, do not assume that all is satisfactory. To ensure a safe workplace, actively look for what might go wrong and respond to potential risks.
Macao Compliance can help you implement an effective risks assessment plan and employee induction package to suit you and your farm.