October is National Safe Work Month, the perfect time to launch the new CANEGROWERS Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Guide for sugarcane farms, designed to help growers assess their businesses and remain vigilant with WHS compliance.
“Rural industry has a high rate of workplace accidents in Australia, so safety needs to be an integral part of farming operations,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.
“Growers are busy, frequently juggling loads of different and occasionally dangerous activities. The very nature of growing sugarcane uses heavy machinery and equipment, creating inherently risky situations.
“Every business owner knows the importance of safety, but it can be hard to find the time to do the checks or keep the records effectively, instead relying on their personal experience and knowledge.
“The CANEGROWERS WHS Guide is a suite of user-friendly checklists, registers and forms, designed specifically for growers,” Mr Galligan said.
CANEGROWERS engaged James Cook University experts to help develop the Guide as a support to growers to raise awareness and understanding of the legislative requirements of the Qld Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. This practical Guide is divided into useable sections, unique to the business of growing sugarcane, providing timesaving information and resources and the ability to keep documentation handy on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
By implementing WHS measures growers can reduce potential risks, and revise and manage farming practices to avoid workplace incidents.
“All of this means less downtime and therefore less expense in the long term for the grower but most importantly, it means a safer working environment,” Mr Galligan said.
“In the end, many of our workplaces are also family homes. The people who work and live on our farms are our most valuable resource and part of our community.
“CANEGROWERS is committed to support growers to do all they can to ensure the safety of our workers and our families.”