NSW Farmers put harvest safety in spotlight

Long hours, machine safety and COVID will be on the agenda with NSW Farmers’ Harvest Ready webinars, hosted by the recently launched Farm Safety Advisory Program this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Upcoming grain harvests are set to be busy, and NSW Farmers is urging farmers to make sure they’re across important safety practices by attending the one-hour webinars, which will host the likes of SafeWork NSW and NSW Department of Primary Industries.

NSW Young Farmers Chairman Mitch Highett said farmers should not forget about on-farm safety amid the excitement of a nationwide bumper crop season, which is set to be 13 per cent bigger than the 10-year average.

“Labour shortages are a known challenge for the upcoming harvest, and this could cause farmers to work longer and harder,” Mr Highett said.

“Farmers need to be aware of dangers associated with fatigue and how to mitigate the risks.

“The latest COVID-19 outbreak is shaping new operational conditions for workplaces, and farm owners and managers need to be across the changes.”

The Farm Safety Advisory Program was launched last week after the successful 2019-2020 Pilot Program aided farming businesses and communities to create safer environments.

The first webinar, to be held at 6pm on Tuesday, September 28, will include speakers from SafeWork NSW, Essential Energy, Transport NSW and the NSW Farmers Workplace Relations team to discuss machinery preparation and safety, workers induction, risk assessment prior to harvest, fatigue management, and rules around the movement of oversized vehicles.

The second webinar will be held at 6pm on Wednesday, September 29 and will include speakers from NSW DPI, NSW Health and SafeWork NSW to discuss COVID-19 and the workplace, including transmission mitigation measures, steps to create a safer workplace, and COVID-19 related restriction of worker movement.

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