Blitz launched on agri-safety
A team of Workplace Health and Safety authorities will be taking a long drive through rural Queensland, conducting spot checks of agricultural operations in the Bundaberg area.
Violations may be geographically few and far between on the massive tracts of land in Queensland’s interior. The safety blitz was undertaken after a number of complaints about working conditions on farms.
Reports say so far inspectors have handed out 15 violation notices on inspections of 30 properties. The stringent checks will be carried out on around 50 farms, according to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) principal rural inspector Fiona O'Sullivan.
There is an incredibly broad range of potential injuries and hazards in agricultural settings; WHSQ has previously identified significant health and safety issues such as heat stress, chemical use, and lack of plant guarding, induction, information, instruction and training.
Wokrplace Health and Safety say the checks are to improve safety through information and education, not purely punitive means.
“The program makes sure contractors and farmers have the information, infrastructure and training to allow their workers to work safely and reduce the risk of injury," Ms O’Sullivan said, “the use and management of chemicals has also been identified as high risk... our officers will be working to ensure breaches are rectified in an appropriate timeframe for the farmers and dependent on the risk... we are very mindful of the pressures on businesses.”
Queensland's online resource for agricultural safety is called FarmSafe.