In 2016, SafeWork SA and Primary Producers SA forged an important partnership with a shared purpose – to keep our farmers and rural workers safe at work.
The Farmers’ Guidebook is a revision of the previous 2011 guide produced by the South Australian Farmers Federation and the South Australian Dairy farmers’ Association. This collaboration would not have been possible without great support from the PPSA commodity groups, who have offered their advice, time and expertise – Grain Producers SA, Livestock SA, South Australian Dairy farmers’ Association, Horticulture Coalition of South Australia, and the Wine Grape Council of South Australia.
There’s no question that farms are unique workplaces, and the combination of hazards makes primary industries one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work.
In South Australia 4.5% of the total workforce work in agriculture, however almost 19% of workplace deaths occur on farms. This means South Australian farmers are being fatally injured at a rate of almost five times beyond their share of the workforce. On top of the high fatality rate, every week nine South Australian primary producers are injured seriously enough to access workers compensation. Frustratingly, the vast majority of fatalities and serious injuries are preventable.
This guide has been developed to help farmers understand their legal responsibilities as well as provide practical solutions to health and safety issues to help prevent serious or fatal injury on their properties.
In South Australia, the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) or ‘the Act’ protects all workers, including employees, contractors, subcontractors, outworkers, apprentices and trainees, work experience students, volunteers and employers who perform work. For most of you, your farm is both your workplace and your home, and sometimes the lines can blur. Your farm is a workplace when your neighbour volunteers at your farm, or you call in a casual contractor, or the local stock agent drops in – you are responsible for their health and safety while they are on your property.