Safety compliance blitzes continue as Victoria’s WorkSafe and the Department of Health and Labour Hire Authority conduct inspections across orchard and growing regions around Shepparton.
Inspectors are visiting sites to ensure they are meeting their OHS requirements and have COVID-safe plans in place. The compliance visits aim to ensure a safe harvest season in the area and give confidence to workers that their employers were meeting their WHS obligations.
So far, WorkSafe has issued 91 improvement notices across 18 properties.
WorkSafe Regional Operations Director Kate Maheras explained that while it was disappointing to see risks continue in the workplace, most of the improvements were small changes that would greatly improve the safety of the sites for workers and PCBUs.
Common issues included a lack of roll-over protection and helmets for quad bikes (the legislation regarding quad bikes has changed in the last 18 months) and missing or damaged guards on plant and equipment.
“To growers’ credit, the visits were on the whole well received and we have had positive feedback from the industry,” Ms Maheras said.
“The visits were an opportunity to talk to employers about practical risk controls, and their responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that anyone who comes into their workplace is not exposed to risks to their health and safety.”