PERHAPS the greatest and most accessible asset when it comes to dealing with farm safety and foreign workers is the internet.
Sites and their corresponding apps such as Google Translate can be valuable tools to assist in getting a message through.
Safety courses and information translations can be done in-hand with a smartphone if necessary.
Some sites and businesses give the ability to create your own custom safety signs using universally recognised safety symbols and images.
There are even sites that provide free fire safety, mandatory safety and danger warning signs to be downloaded as PDF files, ready to be printed.
Farmsafe’s Farm Workshop Safety Guide addresses the question of whether employers can create their own safety signs, saying signs should comply with Australian Standard 1319:1994 Safety signs for the occupational environment.
“Signs should be located where they are clearly visible and attract the attention of all people in the workshop,” the Farmsafe guide said.
“Prohibition, mandatory or hazard signs should be situated to give enough time after viewing the sign to heed the warning.
“They should be mounted in the line of sight in the vertical plane – approximately 1500mm from the ground.
“Care should be taken not to place too many signs close together – people may become confused or the message may not be absorbed due to the large amount of information.”
While protecting the physical safety of farm workers is important, it's also worth considering protecting the rights of those workers.
In November last year, the Fair Work Ombudsman developed six videos to help visa holders understand their workplace rights.
Each video has been produced in 16 languages other than English and builds on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s commitment to remove barriers that prevent migrant workers from accessing workplace assistance.
Of course, the extra element in keeping foreign workers safe on farm is perhaps an unseen combination: patience and understanding.
It pays for an employer to take extra time to ensure workers fully understand.