Fighting Agri-worker fatigue by taking a break!

WorkSafe (referenced source) has published this guidance on their website as part of National Farm Week 2020, that encourages Victorian farmers to put the safety of Agri-workers first, by taking regular well-deserved breaks from their daily routines, for them to minimise workplace fatigue.

For those duty holders who Own, Operate, Control, Manage, and Supervise their Organisations Workplace!

Workplace Fatalities

Worksafe is highlighting by their current data, that the Victorian agriculture sector employs only 2% of the Victorian workforce, but tragically it accounts for 1 in 7 of all workplace fatalities in 2019/20.

Agriculture safety facts:

  • There were nine deaths on farms in the 2019/20 financial year, an increase from 5 in 2018/19.
  • Agricultural sectors associated with livestock made up 76% of injury claims in the industry in the 10 years to June 30, 2019.
  • Vehicles were involved in 79% of on-farm deaths recorded in the past decade.
  • Of these, 53% involved tractors and 18% involved quad bikes and ATVs.

Risk of fatigue

Worksafe guidance indicates that the very nature of work in the Victorian agriculture section can expose Agri-workers to the risks that may lead to fatigue such as:

  • Lack of sleep during busy periods.
  • Intense periods of work.
  • Exposure to hot and cold extreme temperatures.

Signs of fatigue

The WorkSafe guidance also indicates that signs of exposure to fatigue can include things such as:

  • Slower reaction times.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Making mistakes.
  • Poor co-ordination.
  • Irritability.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Frequent colds.
  • Headaches and dizziness.
  • And nodding off or micro sleeps.

Have Duty Holders fully implemented this new guidance for Taking a break to fight farm fatigue which explains the risks posed by Agri-worker fatigue and guides readers through a process of strategies such as:

  • Increasing water intake.
  • Taking breaks when possible.
  • And planning to have extra help during busier times can all help avoid fatigue.
  • Prioritising sleep.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Exercising regularly and limiting caffeine and alcohol can also set the body up for a good night’s rest.
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Commentary by Ray Boekelaar (Senior certified OHS/WHS Safety Consultant for & Real Estate Agent for

Ray Boekelaar is more than just a career “work retired” grandfather, father, and blogger, who loves AWD-SUV semi off-road adventure camper traveling the highways and byways throughout the vast states and territories of the Australian continent. When he is not doing some casual OHS Safety or Real Estate Consulting for these respective organisations, as a “key opinion leader” (KOL) You will find him in between times trip planning historical tourist destinations and heading out into the sunset, on his next of many scheduled road touring travel adventures.

Referenced Source: (WorkSafe Victoria) – by WorkSafe Victoria (media) on July 24, 2020

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