|

Dairy farmers take safe option

MORE than 40 dairy farmers and service providers at Longwarry and Caldermeade have learnt a valuable lesson – it’s better to be safe than sorry. MORE than 40 dairy farmers and service providers at Longwarry and Caldermeade have learnt a valuable lesson – it’s better to be safe than sorry. South Gippsland farmers attended recent farm safety days held at Rocky Murdica’s Longwarry farm and at the Caldermeade Farm and Café. Co-hosted by GippsDairy, GoTafe, the VFF and WorkSafe, the events were a chance for farmers to update themselves on the latest in farm safety requirements, as well as accessing resources to help them become compliant. With quad bikes still the number one cause of accidental death among farmers, there was an emphasis on the wearing of helmets and installation of operator protection devices. GippsDairy workforce co-ordinator Leah Maslen said she was pleased with the way the dairy industry had been reacting to the safety message. An increasingly regulatory environment meant that farmers were now acutely aware of the financial risks involved in neglecting safety around the farm, as well as failing to keep a written record (also signed off by employees) of their induction and training. “People are becoming aware that having employees on farm is not simple and you can’t rely on the old ways of a handshake and ‘she’ll be right’ attitude,” Leah said.    “We spoke a lot about inducting staff and is it okay for farmers to train and induct staff themselves. “The answer is: yes, if you have the experience and knowledge and you are showing them the right way to do things.”Leah said the message was filtering through the industry, with farmers realising they had to meet safety standards as part of running a modern workplace. “One farmer was saying he couldn’t afford to do it at the moment, but the message was it doesn’t have to happen overnight, but you do have to make a start,” Leah said. Dairy Australia program manager – industry workforce planning and action, Bill Youl, said the emphasis on safety was about one thing – saving lives. “The thing that started this off is that six people are killed each year on dairy farms. There shouldn’t be one person killed, which is why Dairy Australia has made this a priority,” he said.Accredited short courses (such as in quad bike operation and using chainsaws) are available for employers wanting to ensure appropriate training is provided if they aren’t 100 percent comfortable to deliver and  sign off themselves. Such courses also help to develop capacity of employees and obtain formal recognition of their skills. For more information on farm safety go to www.thepeopleindairy.org.au

Safety first: from left, Dairy Australia program manager – industry workforce planning and action, Bill Youl, catches up with Caldermeade farm owner and Pound Creek dairy farmer Tim Jelbart.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=21814

Posted by on Jul 4 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recently Commented

  • gigamax1: Ok , so now Wonthaggi SLSC is going to want the same funding. These clubs are within 1 kilometre of each...
  • 01jk: Just wondering what sort of chicken do little warriors eat? Straight from their own coop? Or those which...
  • juliec: I hope the community can change the plan to log state forest in the Strzeleckis. The Strzelecki forests are...
  • russell: As usual Vicroads ignore their own guidelines… This from their own “Road Guide Notes”...
  • gatha4: Thankyou to The Star for your interest in and support for Aaron and his family. Trista’s Kitchen is...