Chemical safety records

Chemical safety records

Click on the below link to download the chemical records template forms:

  Chemical Site Assessment Form - yearly (35KB)

  Chemical Usage Form - each time you spray (55KB)

Why keep records?

The Rural Chemicals Code for the use of chemicals on farms was released in January 1994. This Code provides you with the flexibility to continue to use agricultural chemicals in a safe and reasonable manner without undue bureaucratic regulation. It s also gives the general public the legislation they have been seeking to assure them that chemicals are being used safely.

The Workplace Health and Safety Act, under which the Code was written, says that in going about your business you must do what is “reasonable” to protect the health and safety of yourself, your workers and the general public. Deciding what is reasonable is the sort of thing that you do all the time.

When using agricultural chemicals, the local environment, the weather and the chemicals being used are all part of your decision whether or not to spray and the manner in which spraying takes place.

The Rural Chemicals Code contains guidelines to determine what is reasonable. But in the end it is the decision that you make by which it will be judged if your actions are reasonable or not.

This is where records come in. If you record your spraying decisions at the time you are making them it will be a lot easier, if there is a problem later on, to explain what you did and why you believed it was a reasonable course of action at the time.

Keeping records of chemical applications may not be the most pleasant job on the farm, but if there is a complaint about the use of chemicals you will be very glad you have a set of records which are complete, were filled out at the time of application, and which demonstrate that you thought carefully about the job before you started spraying.

Of course a good set of records is always an invaluable aid to memory too.

There is a space on the form to include details of the effect of the spray as this can assist in chemical selection in the future.

How to use

There are two forms on this page, the site assessment record and the chemical usage form.

Site assessment record

The site assessment is an important record of farm safety measures on your farm.

You should review the position at least once a year but more often if you have a significant change in your farming operation (e.g. introduction of a whole new crop or a change from burnt to green cane harvesting).

The questions on the form are designed to make you think and perhaps take remedial action before filling in the answers.

When they talk about “employees” you should include other family members who work with or around agricultural chemicals on your farm.

Chemical usage forms

Each time you spray, you should fill in one of the chemical usage record form.

  • Fill out the form before you spray
  • Keep this book in the shed or somewhere you will see it before you begin spraying
  • Think about each of the columns while filling it out.

The level of detail is up to you but obviously the more information you include the stronger you can make the case that you thought of everything.

Spraying decisions involve an assessment of whether there will be drift and in what direction drift is likely to go. This is the reason for the columns relating to wind direction that drift is likely to go.

This is no need to have a full farm weather station- approximate data will be sufficient (e.g. direction – south to south-east, wind speed – rustling leaves, temperature – high 20s).

One way to judge wind speed is by the Beaufort scale of wind speed on the inside back cover.