A recent meeting organized by VGA-Victoria, saw twenty vegetable growers and machinery engineers discuss issues of worker safety, when planting or harvesting operations are carried out with slow moving machinery.
Issues Identified included:
- Unmanned slow moving (creeping) tractors with the driver getting off and on whilst the tractor is moving during planting or harvesting.
- The responsibility for emergency stop controls, kill switches and remote controls within the working group.
- The need to understand vegetable industry practices and requirements as a daily routine.
More information is needed about:
- Operational differences between tractor and mechanical harvest aids.
- What is a safe speed for operators to get off & on moving equipment ?
- Safeguards for employee and employer.
- Is the answer a kill switch, lanyards or remote controls activated by the working group ?
- Understanding of WorkSafe requirements.
Review of Action:
- Safety guidelines to be drafted for all vegetable growers to follow including a range of options covering best practices on the farm.
- Training procedures to be documented and implemented under an education campaign.
- All employees to receive induction and training to eliminate incorrect adjustment of controls and misuse of equipment.
Ultimate responsibility lies with the Owners and Directors of vegetable farms, to ensure that all employees fully understand and comply with the safe working practices used on that property.
VGA Victoria will remain pro-active with a working committee formed to ensure that guidelines are completed in accordance with best practices of farm workers safety.
See Also :
Farm Safety -Vegetables Victoria website
Reducing Injuries on Your Farm – 7 Mar 2011
Worker dies in Farm accident – 26 Nov 2009
For more information contact :