Safety Buster, Oct 1

How to insure the safety of your farm and farmers.

Farm Safety

Some of the questions being asked about the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 may help you focus on your business needs:

1. Who needs a Health & Safety policy?

The answer is, you all do. There are no exceptions, even the self-employed sole trader has contractors coming on to the farm. The contractors includes: AB technicians, cultivation contractors and all the people in-between.

Each of the contractors need a policy before they come onto the property and the policy needs to be accepted and approved by the PCBU of the business. There are people who believe they are self-employed when they are not strictly self-employed. Partnerships are often involved and even if one partner is not working on the farm on a regular basis they may be liable.

2. Our children have a sand arena for the horse or a motor-cross track for the bikers, do we need a policy?

The simple answer is yes as there must be some use protocols that need to be complied with. The activities are considered to be recreational, provided they are for private and personal use only. The Act specifically excludes people who are on the farm for recreational purposes being the responsibility of the PCBU. If anyone pays to use the arena or the motor-cross track it becomes a commercial operation and requires a Health & Safety policy with a designated PCBU.

3. Do I have to have my quad bike or motorbike serviced at an approved service centre?

The simple answer is no, you can do the servicing yourself. The manufacturer’s recommendations are considered “Best Practice” and it is best practice that determines the maintenance requirements. If you are undertaking your own maintenance it is important that you record what was done and when and be aware that if there is an issue and your work or lack has been substandard or contributed to the injury in any way then you may be liable.

About the author

James Findlay

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