An annual event focusing on safety in the fodder industry, National Hay Safe Day, will take place on Friday, October 25.
National Hay Safe Day is an initiative of Suzanne Woods, an Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) member, director, fodder grower and hay exporter from Calingiri in Western Australia. Tragically on October 25 2009, Ms Woods lost her father in an accident on their farm.
A statement from the AFIA said that work health and safety was everyone's responsibility, and it wanted everyone to take on the National Hay Safe Day messages, making safety a focus and helping to prevent accidents from happening in your business.
In 2019, with dry conditions continuing to impact many farmers and regional areas across Australia, AFIA is also promoting awareness of good mental health for National Hay Safe Day.
"While sharing your concerns, your issues and your story with others will not make it rain, it can help lighten the load. Australia, and in particular, rural Australia, has an important and proud tradition of looking out for one another, your neighbours, your mates and your community," the statement said.
"We do this in times of crisis - fires, floods and we need to do it in times of drought too. So, in 2019, as part of National Hay Safe Day, take some time to assess how you are feeling and seek help if you are feeling over-whelmed."
Don't forget about these safety issues:
- Trucks moving in, out and around your property; what are the risks (e.g. power lines, other machinery, people, livestock, clear and readily accessible access to the fodder stores, etc.)?
- The safe and appropriate use of telehandlers, loaders, forklifts, etc.
- Loading fodder - is the load securely strapped and safe to be on the road?
- Unloading of fodder - is the area clear of obstructions or other potential hazards?
- Does everyone involved with the loading or unloading of fodder know their respective roles and responsibilities and is everyone being vigilant for any safety issues?
- Is everyone wearing their personal protective equipment, especially high visibility vests?
- Make sure everyone is accounted for and safe during times of loading and unloading of fodder.
Here are some other suggestions for you to consider for National Hay Safe Day 2019:
- Why not Take Ten for Tea (i.e. 10 minutes) and host a morning tea on Friday, October 25 and talk about safety in your business with your staff, family and contractors? Invite the neighbours over and make it a social/local community occasion.
- Share your National Hay Safe Day initiatives, thoughts and photos on AFIA's social media platforms, via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using @Ausfodder
- Subscribe to AFIA's new Work, Health Safety (WHS) Program. The program includes a user's guide and nine risk assessments specifically developed for AFIA members and at a cost of only $100 (+ GST). To subscribe, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org