Shake-up for hay industry

15 Sep, 2004 10:00 PM

WORKSAFE will monitor WA¹s hay industry this year to ensure occupational health and safety (OHS) standards are being met.

A boom in the export hay market in recent years, and competitive returns, saw many traditional graingrowers turn to growing hay crops.

One fatal accident and a severe injury have already occurred in the industry this year.

Worksafe primary industries team manager and inspector Chris Kirwin said most employee incidents had been recorded but many on-farm accidents had gone unreported.

Inspections are expected to involve machinery and on-farm procedures, through to transporters and processors.

Mr Kirwin said it was time for everyone in the industry to become aware of the hazards as the season gets underway.

He said Worksafe would concentrate its inspections and recommendations on load restraints and machinery guards.

A proactive approach would be adopted and inspections might not necessarily begin when the season started, he said.

³We have more value when we do proactive work than reactive work,² Mr Kirwin said.

³We achieve a lot more working with them rather than against them.²

In line with the successful shearing shed inspection project, Mr Kirwin said hay industry members would be consulted before inspections were conducted.

He said associations, along with Worksafe, would provide industry with recommendations and plenty of time to bring themselves up to standard.

Shearing shed inspections were due to finish this month and Mr Kirwin said woolgrower reactions had been positive.

³We¹re all about preserving the industry and want every thing to be forward and up,² he said.

³And at the same time they need to protect their businesses by having safe systems of work in place.²

Worksafe was due report back to the shearing shed inspection stakeholder group comprising WAFarmers, PGA, Australian Workers Union and WA Shearing Contractors Association this month.


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