Keeping Farm Workers Safe

It can seem like the job of keeping workers on your farm safe is never-ending. Farm managers have the difficult task of keeping everything running smoothly whilst also juggling OSH policies and regulations – and sometimes it can be hard to know where to start or how best to implement safety rules for farm work, especially when it seems like sometimes you are stating the obvious. This blog provides resources and links to checklists that can help you implement health and safety procedures on your farm.

According to the law as stated by the Department of Commerce Agricultural Safety and Health Checklist.

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Inducting Farm Workers

When introducing a new farm worker or farm manager to your farm, it’s important to follow an induction process, especially when it comes to safety - farm work, after all, can be dangerous if the right safety guidelines are not adhered to. The Farmsafe Online Safety Induction Tool can help.

A safety induction is necessary for a farming environment for obvious reasons. No employee should be allowed to carry out farm work before such an induction has been overseen, no matter if they are a farm manager working mostly from an office or a farm worker dealing with dangerous machinery or environments.

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How To Manage Employment Termination of Farm Workers

No matter the reason for an employee’s termination, such circumstances must be handled in a careful and professional manner. If you are dismissing an employee (such as a Farm Worker or Farm Manager), it is imperative to follow a fair dismissal procedure to reduce risk of legal action, to safeguard your reputation, and to keep up good morale within the workplace.

If you are classed as a small business (applies to business employers who employ less than 15 people – including all Farm Workers and Farm Managers) then The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code applies to you. Whilst not compulsory, it is highly recommended that you take the Code into account and follow its directions if you need to terminate an employee. The Code provides employers with an assessment checklist to help record your reasons for dismissing an employee and to ensure that you have followed all the steps of The Code.

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Returning Home? What to do when leaving Australia

If you have lived and worked in Australia, whether in a farming job or another position, and are returning or have already returned to your home country, there are a few things you need to do.

The first thing you need to think about is lodging a tax return after June 30. You can do this from your home country – and you may be eligible to lodge a tax return early. Check the Australian Taxation Office for more information.

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Health and Safety: Quad Bikes

Quad bikes can be useful pieces of farming machinery when used correctly. But, used incorrectly, they can be deadly. 

In 2013, there were 15 reported deaths involving a quad bike on a farming property in Australia, and 39 injury events were also reported on Australian farms during the same year. Worryingly, a considerable number of these events involved children.

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