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If you are planning to use Restricted Access Vehicles (RAVs), such as Road Trains, B-Doubles and Truck and Dog Trailer combinations to complete any transport task, you must first ensure the required public roads are approved for the appropriate RAV network. It is part of your responsibilities under the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) legislation.

The Chain of Responsibility legislation is contained within the Road Traffic (Administration) Act 2008, the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012 and associated regulations.

CoR was officially implemented in 2015, after the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 came into force, and it was introduced to:
  • Improve road safety.
  • Reduce damage to infrastructure.
  • Promote a ‘level playing field’ for industry.
  • Improve deterrence and enforcement.
  • Improve business efficiency and compliance.
The legislation extends the legal liability to each party connected with the vehicle in the transport chain, which includes:
  • Consignors – a person or company commissioning the transport of goods.
  • Packers – a person who puts the goods in packages, containers or pallets for transport, or supervises or manages this activity.
  • Drivers – the person driving the vehicle.
  • Vehicle Licence Holder – the person or company named on the vehicle licence.
  • Consignee / Receivers – paying for the goods and / or taking possession of the load.

Whichever activity you perform in the ‘chain’, it is important that you take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with mass, dimension, loading and access requirements, specified under the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012 and associated regulations. You also have a legal obligation to ensure your conduct does not induce or reward the commission of a breach of these requirements.

If you operate a RAV on a public road, you must ensure it is within legal mass and dimension limits, the load is appropriately restrained or contained, and the vehicle is operating on an approved route.

As the sole authority to approve or decline RAV access, Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Services (HVS) is responsible for administering RAV access on all public roads in the State, which includes carrying out a thorough route assessment process to determine if roads are safe and suitable for RAV access.

The simplest way to identify the approved RAV Network and access conditions (if applicable) for a particular road is by using the RAV Mapping Tool on the Main Roads website at www.mainroads.wa.gov.au. If the road you require is not approved, you can apply to HVS to have it assessed for addition to the relevant RAV Network.

As part the assessment process, HVS will liaise with the relevant road manager to seek their comment and complete the necessary onsite assessments of the road to ensure it is safe and suitable for the requested RAV Network.

If the road is found suitable, HVS will advise both you and the road manager when it is added to the relevant RAV network and any applicable access conditions (if required). The approval will then be published in the RAV Mapping Tool, which is updated each Wednesday.

If a road is found unsuitable for the requested RAV network, HVS will advise both you and the road manager, including providing a summary of the road deficiencies and/or reasoning for the decision.

HVS is committed to finalising all route assessment applications within three months of receipt. However, assessments and approvals may be delayed for a variety of reasons, and HVS will maintain regular contact with you to keep you updated.

If you need to apply for roads to be added to a RAV Network for an upcoming transport task, you need to apply as early as possible to ensure the road is assessed and approved in time.

The application form to add a road to a RAV Network and all the other information about the route assessment process is available on the Access Requirements page on the Main Roads website.

For further information, please contact our Heavy Vehicle Helpdesk on 138 486 or email hvs@mainroads.wa.gov.au

Harvest Mass Management Scheme

What is the Harvest Mass Management Scheme ?

The Harvest Mass Management Scheme (HMMS) comes into effect between 1 October and the last day of February each year to assist the grain industry with managing the difficulties experienced when loading grain in a paddock. While this is not a concessional loading scheme, with Transport Operators expected to load to statutory mass limits, Main Roads acknowledges that there are limited weighing facilities in paddocks and variations in grain densities.

As such, the HMMS allows a vehicle to exceed a statutory mass requirement by up to 10 per cent, to a maximum of 10 tonnes on the gross mass, subject to the conditions specified in the HMMS Business Rules. Once delivered and weighed at the Grain Receiver, the loads should be adjusted accordingly for the next delivery, which eliminates overloading and works toward achieving fully compliant loading practices for the remainder of the harvest season.

How to participate in the Scheme

To participate in the HMMS, Transport Operators are required to register with each participating Grain Receiver that they deliver to during the harvest period. This must be completed prior to any load being accepted by that Grain Receiver. An application to register a vehicle for use under the HMMS can be obtained and submitted directly to the participating Grain Receiver where deliveries will be made.

A written agreement must also be signed stating that the transport operator will abide by the HMMS Business Rules and any additional rules the participating Grain Receiver may have in place to ensure they meet their obligations under the scheme.

What roads can I access?

Transport Operators and farmers operating in the scheme need to ensure the roads they intend to use are approved for the particular RAV combination being used. Road ratings and approvals are available on the Main Roads RAV Mapping Tool at www.mainroads.wa.gov.au

If additional roads are required, the Transport Operator or farmer can apply for a road to be added to the relevant RAV network via the standard RAV route assessment application process. For further information on this, or to obtain an application form, visit the Access Requirements in WA page on the Main Roads website.

It should be noted however, that a Transport Operator cannot participate in the HMMS if they are operating under the Accredited Mass Management Scheme (AMMS) and their loading controls are relevant to the loading site they are transporting grain from.

Further Information

The HMMS Business Rules define the requirements which apply to each party involved in the scheme and can be found on the Harvest Mass Management Scheme page on the Main Roads website.

For more information please call Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Services Helpdesk on 138 486 or visit www.mainroads.wa.gov.au

LPG is a highly versatile energy source for agricultural businesses and remains a critical part of Australia’s energy mix as we transition to a Net Zero economy by 2050.

With so many agricultural businesses located in off-grid rural or remote locations across Australia, LPG is an essential energy source for high grade heat in large volumes — which can make electricity an unsuitable option.

As an alternative fuel for a range of agricultural applications, LPG is also a credible pathway for businesses seeking to reduce their own carbon emissions and decarbonise their operations.

LPG for crop, livestock and poultry applications

When yield and efficiency is everything, consistent, controllable and economical heating and hot water is crucial. Add the unique, near- complete combustion properties of LPG and the low risk of burning or contaminating produce, you can see why Australian agricultural operators depend on LPG to meet their business energy need.

LPG agricultural applications:

  • Grain drying: high grade heat in large volumes to support post- harvest operations
  • Heating: large area space heating for nurseries, greenhouses, stables and sheds
  • Livestock farming: instantaneous hot water for sanitising livestock processing areas
  • Flame weeding: highly controlled, chemical free weeding ideal for organic producers
  • Nurseries and greenhouses: CO2 enrichment to maximise photosynthesis potential

LPG as a substitute for diesel

LPG produces 45% less CO2 than grid electricity and 99% less NOx pollutants than diesel. For many stationary engine applications where a diesel tank of fuel is required, LPG is a flexible and efficient energy source. Unlike diesel, LPG does not deteriorate in tanks and does not require water to be drained from the bottom of tanks over time.

Benefits of LPG:

  • Suitable for fixed diesel installations and vehicles
  • The rate of substitution is typically 30-35% and depends on engine size and application
  • A diesel substitution kit is fitted to the engine without the need to make any modifications
  • The kit can be easily removed and installed on another engine
  • Diesel Substitution Control Units ensure the optimum substitution rate
  • Engine monitoring and data logging systems continuously check engine performance and fuel consumption
  • Reduced maintenance costs due to cleaner burning fuel
  • Where CO2 is used to modify the growth environment to be recaptured from flue gas and re-used in the growing process
  • Transitioning to LPG is increasingly cost effective – even when government fuel rebates and equipment conversion costs are considered
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With so many vital services requiring digital access, farms and agricultural businesses, just like any other business, require the best possible, most reliable internet connection.

Regional Fibre, Satellite and Wireless

Activ8me offers a wide selection of internet connections, depending on what nbn technology type is available in your area. Many Aussies don’t realise that the nbn is available where they live; with free standard installation and nbn equipment, even in the most isolated parts of the country.
It doesn’t matter where your farm is anywhere around Australia, Activ8me has an internet service for you.
With free standard installation and no cost for the nbn hardware, there are no hefty charges to get multiple internet services installed by a qualified technician.
No matter how remote your location, approved technicians are available to come to you for free.

Introducing Completely Unmetered Data on Satellite

Exciting changes have come to satellite internet, with the introduction of Sky Muster® Plus Premium.
Activ8me’s Sky Muster® Plus Premium. plan offers satellite users completely unmetered data for ALL online activities all day, every day.
While nbn may shape traffic to speeds where required to ensure fair access to the network for all services, for the first time on satellite, users can access video streaming services (like Netflix, ABC iView and Kayo) as much as they want, including during the evening hours.
These changes make a HUGE difference to how much data services can use each month, in addition making schooling-from-home and running a farming business much more affordable.
While great for video streaming services, these changes also significantly impact business tools and IoT devices, which are becoming more prevalent in the agricultural industry.
Farms can now access remote monitoring devices, including video feeds from cameras or cloud-based platforms without worrying about a monthly data allowance.
With many IoT tools operating through in-app VPN networks, farmers can use these services and no longer use up limited ‘metered’ data, as was previously the case on Sky Muster Plus.
The Sky Muster Plus Premium plan costs $99 per month, with no joining fees and available on a no lock-in contract with no setup or connection fees.
Changing over to Sky Muster Plus Premium from another provider is a simple and easy process, whether you’re on a standard Sky Muster plan or already on Sky Muster Plus.
For full details on the new Sky Muster Plus Premium plan, visit Activ8me’s Sky Muster plans page or do an address check to see what connection type is available on your property.

Install Multiple Services Across Your Farm

Often one service is not enough, with connectivity required at multiple buildings on one property. Activ8me are experts in regional internet services, especially in ensuring farms have adequate connections across the property to meet their needs.
The Australian-based team at Activ8me can add additional buildings to the nbn Service Registry in Wireless and Satellite areas, allowing for free installations of additional services on a single farm (with a limit of one service per building).
Adding multiple services on each property means sheds, dongas, outstations and worker accommodations can access their own internet services, paid for by themselves or as part of one farm business account. Each service includes free standard installation and no cost for the nbn equipment.

Get Your Free Upgrade to Fibre to the Premise (FttP)

Activ8me can offer free fibre upgrades in eligible areas, with the number of regions available for a free fibre to the premise (FTTP) installation increasing over the coming 12-24 months. This includes satellite areas as well as Fibre-to-the-Node locations across regional Australia. Contact Activ8me’s Aussie-based team on 13 22 88 to find out if or when your region is available to take part in this fibre upgrade rollout program.

Fixed Wireless Expanded Coverage and Higher Speed Tiers Coming Soon

Activ8me currently offers Fixed Wireless Plus, the fastest available nbn® fixed wireless plan on the market, as of mid-2023.
With an unlimited data allowance for just $69.95, farms in eligible fixed wireless areas can receive excellent coverage and reliability. Further upgrades are being performed by nbn on Fixed Wireless towers across the country. These upgrades will soon allow us to offer even faster speed tiers, more than 100mbps download, utilising 5G technology. In addition, these towers will extend the range of fixed wireless coverage, meaning we’ll be able to offer fixed wireless to farms and homes that can currently only receive satellite internet coverage.
Our team can determine if you’re eligible for fixed wireless, or let you know when the tower nearby will be upgraded to reach your property.

Speak to our Aussie based Rural Internet Experts

Call Activ8me’s Aussie-based team on 13 22 88 and our knowledgeable staff can do the hard work for you, running you through the process and arranging connections over the phone.

Article kindly supplied by Activ8me.

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There’s a lot of good things about living and working outside Australia’s bigger towns and cities, but it also has its unique challenges.

Fewer services, isolation and extreme weather events are just a few of the things that can be harder to deal with out here. In rural and remote areas there can also be a ‘toughen up’ culture where it’s not always easy to talk about the things that keep us awake at night or give us the confidence to ask a mate if everything is OK. That’s why the ‘Mateship Manual’ was developed. To help those in rural and remote areas support their mates and loved ones doing it tough.

Sometimes it’s up to us to trust our gut instinct and ask someone who may be struggling with life, “Are you OK?”. By asking and listening, we can help our mates and loved ones feel more supported and connected long before they even think about suicide. It’s something we can all do by following a few simple steps.

 

Download your FREE copy now so you can:

  • Learn the signs that someone might be struggling
  • Be confident in asking R U OK?
  • Provide support

R U OK? is pleased to provide the R U OK? Mateship Manual FREE of charge at ruok.org.au.

R U OK? can also offer physical copies within Australia free of charge at the R U OK? Merchandise Store.

How you can Support Someone affected by a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters and emergencies disrupt lives and routines. When things around us change, we change too – and what that means for us emotionally is different for everyone.

The environmental impact of the event might be immediate, as it is with flood or bushfire, but it might also develop over time, as it does with drought. Depending on what people are already dealing with in their lives, the emotional impact can be difficult for people to cope with both in the short and longer term.

The new R U OK? Mateship Manual provides guidance and tips to help you support a family member, friend, neighbour or workmate affected by a natural disaster or an emergency now and into the future.

To learn the signs that someone might be struggling and how to ask them “are you OK?” and provide support download your free digital copy at ruok.org.au.

Essential Energy looks after the poles and wires that deliver electricity to 95 per cent of New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland. The electricity powers the homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, and services that form local community. The business is on call 24/7 to fix power outages, maintain the pole and wires to meet customers’ needs and explore innovative and cost-effective ways to provide services.

Essential Energy knows that regional, rural and remote communities form the backbone of NSW’s agricultural industry.

The biggest electrical safety risk for the agribusiness sector is machinery contact with powerlines and power poles. For this reason, Essential Energy urges farmers to take steps to protect their safety and the safety of others when working near electrical infrastructure.

Essential Energy’s Head of Organisational Safety, Michael Flannery, described public safety as a shared responsibility. “Our goal is to help farmers and agricultural workers to understand how to protect their safety and the safety of others when working near the electricity network.”
“Essential Energy has a network that spans 95 per cent of NSW and serves 1,500 rural, regional and remote communities, so a lot of our work is centred around electrical safety within the agricultural industry”, Michael said.

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“Essential Energy’s educational safety campaigns focus on those working on the land and reinforce the need for farmers to remain alert to electrical hazards and aware of the location of electrical infrastructure, such as overhead powerlines,” Michael said.

Essential Energy offers a range of tools to help keep workers safe while working on the farm. This includes an Aerial Marker Program, offering the installation of up to 10 aerial powerline markers free of charge, to increase powerline visibility and help reduce contact with overhead powerlines.

Michael said “Unfortunately, we have seen a variety of incidents across our footprint, involving farming machinery and aerial spraying (crop dusting) planes coming into contact with our network. To help reduce the risk of potentially fatal accidents, landowners are encouraged to consider installing aerial markers on their property.

“Feedback from those undertaking work near where aerial markers are installed has been very positive, with people saying how amazed they are with how eye catching the markers are, and others stating they help save lives.”

SafeWork NSW offer rebates to small businesses and sole traders in NSW who buy and install equipment that makes their workplace safer, meaning many agribusinesses may be able to claim back up to $1000 of the purchase cost of the powerline markers. Essential Energy also offers site visits on request to discuss ways to stay safe around powerlines.

Essential Energy Plan Ahead app

Essential Energy also has the Look Up and Live app available to use in its network area, which provides powerline safety at the click of a button.

“The app is a simple tool that everyone can access from a laptop or smartphone to access information including the location of overhead powerlines and imagery via an interactive geospatial map. This is an important first step that everyone working on the land should take before starting work,” Michael said.

The app can be accessed at essentialenergy.com.au/lookupandlive or can be downloaded through the Apple or Google Play stores.

Essential Energy also offers a range of online electrical safety information including educational fact sheets on agribusiness and harvest safety, free safety stickers, and a practical instructional electrical safety video. These are available at essentialenergy.com.au/safety

  • Look up and Live – visit essentialenergy.com.au/lookupandlive or download the app
  • Install aerial markers – visit essentialenergy.com.au/aerialmarkerprogram to request markers for your property
  • Know machinery heights – the height of farm machinery and equipment, both when raised and lowered
  • Stay, Call, Wait – if your vehicle comes into contact with the overhead network, stay in the vehicle, call 000 and wait for the all clear from Essential Energy.

Tips for staying safe

As harvest activities heighten across NSW and GPS tracking and autosteer technology is more heavily relied upon, the risk of farm machinery contacting powerlines or power poles increases. Essential Energy recommends these top tips for keeping safe on the land during your daily farming activities.

Plan ahead to stay safe.

The first and most important step is to always plan ahead to stay safe. “We encourage all landowners to plan ahead before starting work, download the Look up and Live app and inquire with Essential Energy about the installation of aerial markers and other electrical safety measures, to help keep themselves, and their workers safe this season” Michael said.

Essential Energy offers site visits on request to discuss ways to stay safe around powerlines, including considering installing aerial markers.
Seasonal Worker Checklist. This is designed to help keep seasonal workers on properties stay safe.

The Seasonal Worker Checklist

is designed to help keep seasonal workers on properties stay safe. “The seasonal worker checklist is a handy 5-minute checklist that all landowners can incorporate into their daily safety inductions to ensure employees understand the dangers of working around electricity, and how they can keep themselves safe,” Michael said. The checklist is available at essentialenergy.com.au/agribusiness

Stay. Call. Wait.

It’s also critical to know how to respond in the unlikely event your machinery comes into contact with powerlines or other parts of the electricity network.

If your machinery contacts overhead powerlines, stay in the vehicle and call 000 immediately. Wait until you have received the all clear from attending Essential Energy employees that the power has been switched off and it’s safe to exit the vehicle.

“This is a critical step that could save your life – too often we have seen incidents occur because workers did not know how to respond when their machinery contacted the network – staying put could save your life,” Michael said.

Stay clear when powerlines are near.

Remember that electricity can arc or ‘jump’ across open spaces, so bystanders should remain at least eight metres away and treat powerlines as live.

To achieve safe work habits

  • Ensure minimum approach distances are maintained – that is, the amount of space between machinery (and anything held by a person) and the powerlines. This will prevent electricity arcing to the vehicle operator or the machinery.
  • Know the height and reach of machinery in both stowed and working positions. Machinery higher than 4.6 metres is at greater risk of contact with powerlines and therefore should be closely monitored.
  • Identify safe travel paths to reduce the possibility of contact with powerlines and always fully lower machinery to the transport position before moving off.

If an emergency exit is necessary because of fire, jump well clear of the vehicle, land with your feet together, and don’t touch the vehicle, fall forward or backward, or allow your feet to step apart. Shuffle with your feet together until you are at least eight metres clear of the vehicle, powerlines or anything else in contact with them. Do not return to the vehicle for any reason.

Look up and live. Agricultural workers are encouraged to identify potential electrical hazards on a property before starting work and be mindful that changes in weather conditions can affect the electricity network. This includes reduced visibility of powerlines at dawn or dusk and strong winds and extreme heat causing lines to sway and sag.

“We participate at major field days, use radio ads, email, social media and web campaigns, and provide in-cab stickers for agricultural machinery. However, ultimately at the end of the day, the most effective way to remain safe on the farm is to have controls in place for identifying overhead and underground electrical assets prior to working near the network,” added Michael.

To find out more about initiatives specific to agribusiness and safety around electricity on farms,
Visit essentialenergy.com.au/agribusiness
contact Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80or call Triple Zero call (000) if the situation is life-threatening.

Article kindly provided by Essential Energy

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Before You Dig Australia (BYDA), formerly Dial Before you Dig (DBYD), is a not-for-profit organisation. For almost 40 years, BYDA has protected Australians and underground infrastructure from harm and damage and continues to provide the free referral service that plays an essential part in a farmer’s safe work practices.

What should you do before you dig?

Safety is fundamental to any digging or excavation project on your property, including digging, fencing, planting, constructing a dam or shed, or even burying livestock. Therefore, using the Before You Dig service should always be your first point of contact before starting work. When you lodge an enquiry, you gain access to plans and information directly from utilities such as gas, electricity, water and telecommunications straight to your email inbox.

Not sure how to access the service?

The free service is accessible via the BYDA website (www.byda.com.au) or through the iPhone and Android apps. To lodge an enquiry, you must sign up for a free account. First, log in and search for your dig site using the map. Then, draw your proposed project site using the mapping tools provided, and provide project details, including location, start and end dates and type of work.

What happens next?

Once you submit the enquiry, you can review a list of affected utilities, their contact details and expected wait times to receive plans and information. Plans are indicative only and should be used as a guide. If you require further information or assistance or have not received plans, please contact the asset owner directly using the contact details supplied on the enquiry confirmation sheet. Ensure you DO NOT proceed until you have received the relevant information from all affected asset owners.

Please remember

  • Safe excavation is not just about getting the plans – you should also ensure you work safely once onsite
  • Be mindful that plans do not show the entire domestic connection
  • Look for clues near underground infrastructure. These may include water meters, inspection points and warning signs
  • Use a Certified Locator to help determine the location of assets
  • Take note of any required permits
  • Be aware of any exclusion zones around assets
  • Always follow the 5Ps of safe excavation!

For more information, please visit the BYDA website www.byda.com.au

Article kindly provided by Before You Dig.

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What is the Harvest Mass Management Scheme (HMMS)?

The Harvest Mass Management Scheme (HMMS) comes into effect between 1 October and the last day of February each year to assist the grain industry with managing the difficulties experienced when loading grain in a paddock. While this is not a concessional loading scheme, with Transport Operators expected to load to statutory mass limits, Main Roads acknowledges that there are limited weighing facilities in

paddocks and variations in grain densities.

As such, the HMMS allows a vehicle to exceed a statutory mass requirement by up to 10 per cent, to a maximum of 10 tonnes on the gross mass, subject to the conditions specified in the HMMS Business Rules. Once delivered and weighed at the Grain Receiver, the loads should be adjusted accordingly for the next delivery, which eliminates overloading and works toward achieving fully compliant loading practices for the remainder of the harvest season.

How to participate in the Scheme

To participate in the HMMS, Transport Operators are required to register with each participating Grain Receiver that they deliver to during the harvest period. This must be completed prior to any load being accepted by that Grain Receiver. An application to register a vehicle for use under the HMMS can be obtained and submitted directly to the participating Grain Receiver where deliveries will be made. A written agreement must also be signed stating that the transport operator will abide by the HMMS Business Rules and any additional rules the participating Grain Receiver may have in place to ensure they meet their obligations under the scheme.

What roads can I access?

Transport Operators and farmers operating in the scheme need to ensure the roads they intend to use are approved for the particular RAV combination being used. Road ratings and approvals are available on the Main Roads RAV Mapping Tool at www.mainroads.wa.gov.au.

If additional roads are required, the Transport Operator or farmer can apply for a road to be added to the relevant RAV network via the standard RAV route assessment application process. For further information on this, or to obtain an application form, visit the Access Requirements in WA page on the Main Roads website.

It should be noted however, that a Transport Operator cannot participate in the HMMS if they are operating under the Accredited Mass Management Scheme (AMMS) and their loading controls are relevant to the loading site they are transporting grain from.

Further Information

The HMMS Business Rules define the requirements which apply to each party involved in the scheme and can be found on the Harvest Mass Management Scheme page on the Main Roads website.

For more information please call Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Services Helpdesk on 138 486 or visit www. mainroads.wa.gov.au

Movement of Oversize and Overmass Agricultural Vehicles

In recent years, Main Roads has worked closely with agricultural industry representatives to simplify and streamline the requirements relating to moving oversize and overmass agricultural vehicles on the public road network.

The development of the Agricultural Machine Order allows oversize and overmass agricultural machines to be moved on the public road network without a permit, subject to a list of restricted bridges. The Agricultural Combinations Order allows oversize and overmass agricultural combinations to be moved on the public road network without a permit, provided they do not cross any bridges. If a bridge needs to be crossed, the operator simply needs to obtain a bridge crossing permit.

It’s important you know the legal requirements, such as if you need to apply for a permit or are you covered by the extensive Main Roads Orders, and whether a pilot vehicle is needed to accompany the agricultural vehicle.

Further Information

To find out more download our handy print friendly quick links postcard from the Agricultural Vehicles page on our website at www.mainroads.wa.gov.au

Agriculturally Focussed #BiggerThanYou Campaign

Off the back of the success of its award winning #BiggerThanYou campaign, Main Roads hit the market again in the second half of 2021, this time focussing on what road users should do when approaching large, slow moving agricultural vehicles.

Feedback from industry and local farmers is, quite simply, that there are too many near misses due to driver inattention or frustration, or road users not driving to the conditions.

The agriculturally focussed campaign was released just prior to last year’s record harvest season, to coincide with the busy Summer tourist season, and included television and radio commercials, roadside billboards on key driving routes out of Perth, social media posts,

bumper stickers and an insert in Farm Weekly. Throughout December and January it also featured on more than 100 bus backs and sides across the Perth Metropolitan area.

Filmed on a local road in York last year, the television commercial provides a timely reminder to slow down, be patient and stay safe.

With further support from the transport and agricultural industries, Main Roads hopes to continue the heavy vehicle awareness campaign, winner of the 2021 WA Rural Media Award for Best Communications Campaign, to further educate road users on how to drive safely and interact with heavy vehicles on West Australian roads.

To find out more, or to download our campaign materials, visit www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/bigger-than-you

Article kindly provided by WA Main Roads.

With more-and-more vital services moving towards digital access, farms and agricultural businesses increasingly require the best possible, reliable internet connection.

Often one service is not enough, with connectivity required at multiple buildings on one property. Activ8me are experts in regional internet services, especially in ensuring farms have adequate connections to meet their needs.

The Australian-based team at Activ8me can add additional buildings to the nbn Service Registry in Wireless and Satellite areas, allowing for free installations of additional services on a single property (with a limit of one service per building).

Adding multiple services on each property means sheds, dongas, out-buildings, and worker accommodations can access different internet services, paid for by themselves or as part of one business account. Each service includes free standard installation and no cost for the nbn equipment.

Regional Fibre, Satellite and Wireless

Activ8me offers a wide selection of internet connections, depending on what nbn technology type is available in your area. Many Aussies don’t realise that the nbn is available where they live; with free installation and nbn equipment, even in the most isolated parts of the country.

No matter where your farm is, Activ8me has an internet service for you.

With free standard installation and no cost for the nbn hardware, there are no hefty charges to get multiple internet services installed by a qualified technician.

No matter how remote your location, qualified technicians are available to come to you.

Introducing Uncapped Video Streaming on Satellite before 4pm

Exciting changes to Activ8me’s Sky Muster PLUS plans finally offer satellite users uncapped access to ALL online activities until 4pm each day.

While nbn may shape traffic to slow speeds where required to ensure fair access to the network for all services, for the first time on satellite, users can access video streaming services (like Netflix, ABC iView and Kayo) as much as they want before 4pm without running out of data.

These changes make a HUGE difference to how much data services can use each month, in addition making schooling-from-home and running a farming business much more affordable.

While great for video streaming services, these changes also significantly impact business tools and IoT devices, which are becoming more prevalent in the agricultural industry.

Farms can now access remote monitoring devices, including video feeds from cameras or cloud-based platforms, each day until 4pm without potentially using up their monthly data allowance.

With many IoT tools operating through in-app VPN networks, farmers can use these services daily until 4pm without using their monthly data allowance.

The only activities that count towards the monthly data allowance are Video Streaming and VPN use from 4pm until Midnight (local time).

All Activ8me Sky Muster PLUS services automatically had these changes applied from 1 July 2022.

Sky Muster PLUS plans start from $49.95 per month, with no joining fees and on month-to-month contracts.

Changing over to Sky Muster PLUS from another provider is a simple and easy process, whether you’re on a standard Sky Muster plan or already on Sky Muster PLUS.

For full details on the new Sky Muster PLUS, visit Activ8me’s Sky Muster PLUS page or to see what services are available on your property.

Alternatively, call our Aussie-based team on 13 22 88 and let our team do the hard work for you.

Article kindly supplied by Activ8me.

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The top three electrical safety risks on Queensland farms are contact with overhead powerlines, unsafe electrical equipment and not having safety switches installed.

Switchboards

An electrical switchboard, also known as a meter box or power box, is where the main electricity supply comes into your home or workshop. It splits electricity across different circuits, providing power to your lights, power points, oven and cooktop, refrigerator and hard-wired electrical equipment like your hot water system and air-conditioner.

Switchboards can be installed inside or outside of your home or workshop.

Inside your switchboard

  • Meter – measures your energy use.
  • Mains switch – turns the power on or off.
  • Circuit breaker/fuse – protects electrical wiring overloading, reducing the risk of fire or damage. They do not protect you from electric shock.
  • Safety switch – monitors the flow of electricity and turns off the power instantly when it detects an unsafe situation. They look similar to a circuit breaker but have a ‘Test’ or ‘T’ button.

Safety switches

Safety switches protect you from electric shock.

They work by continuously monitoring the flow of electricity and turn off the power instantly when an unsafe situation is detected.
You should have safety switches installed on every circuit to make your property as safe as possible.

Test your safety switches using the test button every three months.

Call a licensed electrician if:

  • your switchboard still has rewireable fuses.
  • you are unsure whether you have a safety switch installed on every circuit.
  • any safety switch does not turn off instantly when the ‘Test’ or ‘T’ button is pushed.
  • any safety switch appears to be faulty.

Shocks and tingles

Getting a shock or tingle from electrical equipment, taps or other metal fittings? Don’t ignore it—it’s a sign something’s not right that could seriously hurt you.

  • If you get a shock from using or touching metal electrical appliances like a clothes dryer or toaster, or hard-wired equipment like a stove or air conditioning unit, stop using it immediately. Get it checked out by a licensed electrician.
  • If you get a shock from a tap, pipe or other metal fitting, stop using it and call Ergon Energy, Energex, Essential Energy or Rio Tinto immediately and ask them to check your property. This is a free service.

Do not turn your power off as this could give you an electric shock.

Electrical appliances

  • Only use them for what they’re meant for.
  • Follow the safety instructions in the manual.
  • Water and electricity don’t mix—don’t use them in or around water, like in the rain or the bath and don’t touch them with wet hands.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and servicing guidelines.
  • Unplug them or turn off the power before cleaning or maintenance.
  • If they’re broken, stop using them and throw them away or get them repaired.

Farm Safety - 01

If you’re a tenant, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to maintain hard-wired equipment and keep it safe (e.g. air-conditioners, solar PV systems and electric hot water systems).

Check it out before you plug it in

Check your electrical appliances before you plug them in—don’t use them if they are damaged.

Portable electrical equipment including extension leads and seasonal electrical equipment (like room heaters, electric blankets and Christmas lights) are especially prone to damage and causing fires.

Over time, all electrical equipment can become unsafe. Signs to look out for are:

  • broken casings and cracked plastic covers
  • changes in colour from overheating or moisture
  • water damage
  • frayed cords or damaged plugs
  • damaged extension leads
  • full or dirty lint filters.

Overhead powerlines, service lines and underground cables

Look up and Live.

Farm Safety - 02

Before you begin work outside your home, check for overhead powerlines and service lines (connected to your house), especially if you’re using machinery, long objects or ladders.

Keep away from overhead powerlines. If it’s damaged or falls to the ground, don’t touch it and contact Ergon Energy, Energex, Essential Energy or Rio Tinto.

Make sure there are no crops or trees planted under powerlines or around poles and their supporting stay wires. Don’t store or move irrigation pipes under overhead powerlines.

Don’t operate or park vehicles or equipment under overhead powerlines.

Contact your electricity distributor for advice on:

  • electrical safety
  • clearly marking power poles and their supporting stay wires on your property to avoid accidental damage
  • ensuring private power poles on your property are maintained in good condition.

Farm Safety - 03

If you’re excavating or digging, make sure there aren’t any underground electrical cables before you start. Find out where they are located by calling the free Dial Before You Dig service and checking for underground cable danger signs or markers in the area.

For more information visit electricalsafety.qld.gov.au

Aluminium phosphide is a fumigant used to destroy pests in food storage areas. It is typically available as tablets, granules, dust or powder.

Dangers of aluminium phosphide

Aluminium phosphide has the potential to cause harm, even at low concentrations. Exposure to air or moisture generates phosphine gas, which is highly toxic.

Extreme care must be taken when handling and storing aluminium phosphide since even low exposure to this gas can adversely affect a person’s health and wellbeing. You can be severely or fatally poisoned from exposure to phosphine gas, especially within an enclosed space, such as the cabin of a vehicle.

Safety tips for transporting aluminium phosphide

Never transport aluminium phosphide in the same cabin space as people, animals or foodstuffs.

This fumigant should be transported on the back of a ute or truck or in a trailer, with the items well secured, and in an adequately ventilated container that is protected from the rain.

Filling elevated fuel tanks

Fill point connections must be installed and located either at ground level or from a compliant gantry and with minimal transfer hose length to ensure risks are minimised.

Pipework connecting an elevated tank to the fill point must be suitably engineered to prevent spills and leaks and have a sealed connection point, anti-syphoning system and a dry-break connection (or similar).

To eliminate associated risks you should have a readily accessible hose connection point with suitable spill containment at ground level.

Fill connection with manifold for filling multiple tanks

Tanks that are filled from a common fill point or have pipework for transfer in common must have an effective and reliable system in place that ensures no tank can exceed its safe fill level; and includes a completely separate system to prevent overfilling.

If a manually operated tank filling system is used then ensure individual tanks are filled sequentially by a suitably trained person using appropriate signage and procedures.

Resources

www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/Dangerous-Goods

National Transport Commission Australian Dangerous Goods Code. www.ntc.gov.au

Article kindly supplied by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Regular safety checks lower the risk of workplace injuries by identifying any hazards to plant or machinery that may have developed.

Maintenance should be conducted as per the original equipment manufacturer’s instructions, using the specified parts and additives. If this information is not readily available, then a mechanic or other competent person should be consulted.
Plant and machinery pre-start inspections must be conducted regularly to ensure worker safety. For example, daily pre-start inspections should cover areas such as:

  • safety features (seat belt, warning beacons, horn etc.)
  • communications
  • visible leaks
  • lights
  • wheels/tyres
  • glass
  • bodywork
  • brakes and clutch
  • guarding (of belt, chain and power take-off (PTO) drives etc.)

Pre-start checks should be conducted by a competent person, such as a mechanic or a person who is qualified to operate the plant or machine.

Where any modification or addition to the plant or machinery has been made,a competent person should conduct a risk assessment to determine if these changes have created any additional hazards to the operation. For example, has the modification or addition:

  • made the plant or machine unstable
  • placed the operator at risk of injury
  • exceeded the weight carrying capacity of the plant or machine
  • created pinch, crush or entanglement points for persons in the vicinity.

If there are any risks identified through this assessment, steps should be taken to reduce the risks wherever possible. This may include:

  • using another form of plant or machinery
  • having the plant or machinery assessed by a competent person, such as an engineer/designer
  • ensuring that guarding is in place where a person may come into contact with moving parts
  • creating additional instructions for the operating manual.

There are many hazards that can arise from using plant or machinery on a farm. Every job that involves working with this equipment should be reviewed to ensure potential hazards are identified and risk mitigation procedures implemented.

Article kindly supplied by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Her life in my hands – the Robyn Neilson story is a poignant reminder of the importance of preparing for a workplace emergency. The film explores the impact a traumatic event can have on workers and first responders. It highlights the need for workplaces to always have well-designed, guarded and properly maintained equipment and first aid supplies readily available.

Released by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ), the film tells of Robyn’s heroic actions when she found her neighbour with life-threatening injuries after her arms had caught in a post-hole digger.

Robyn, a trained nurse, responded quickly and effectively and in the two hours before the Royal Flying Doctor Service could get to the isolated Central Queensland property, she single-handedly kept her critically injured neighbour alive.

Robyn talks about the importance of having safe work procedures in place including an emergency plan and first aid equipment ready. Her story covers the importance of safety around machinery on farms, the need to ensure it is properly guarded, and only using well-designed, correct equipment for the task.

Robyn’s story also explores her experience with post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident and highlights the importance of seeking support – or encouraging your workers to seek support – when it’s needed.

As a WHSQ Safety Advocate, Robyn joins a team of otherwise ordinary Queenslanders whose lives have been dramatically impacted by a work injury, or who have lost loved ones to work injury or disease. Her message to employers and workers is very clear – you must be prepared for a serious injury to happen, and you must ensure safety is top of everyone’s mind on your property.

Robyn said while workplaces might manage safety well, isolated or potentially dangerous jobs required extra considerations – being prepared for the worst to happen.

“Like every workplace, it’s important to follow basic safety rules like using the right machinery correctly, properly training workers, and having an evacuation plan in place. But if you are on a farm or in an isolated location, you must go that next step and be ready for if things do go wrong,” Robyn said.

“Ensure all your workers have a current first aid certificate – and get chance to practice the basics, otherwise they’ll freeze up if it actually happens.

“Everyone on your property must know the exact location – the coordinates of the nearest airstrip that’s big enough for an RFDS plane to land on.
“Likewise, they must know where the closest medical outpost and road transport emergency service are.

“And don’t overlook the simple things which can cause huge delays – leaving gates unlocked and accessible for emergency services, making sure your property is signposted and numbered, and keeping landing strips in good condition.”

Queensland businesses can request a free visit from Robyn to talk to their workers about the importance of preventing workplace injuries, but also of preparing for the worst.

Robyn shares how exposure to traumatic workplace incidents can affect the mental health of your colleagues, first responders, and their families, and the importance of seeking support.

WHSQ’s Safety Advocates have all experienced first-hand the impact that a work-related injury or death has on a worker, their family, friends and colleagues. They share their personal stories to compel workers and employers to think about their most important reason for workplace safety.
An advocate can attend your event – whether it’s your annual staff barbecue or a regular workplace safety meeting – to speak to workers, supervisors and managers about the importance of safety in the workplace.

Head to worksafe.qld.gov.au to view Robyn Neilson’s story and learn why preparedness is absolutely vital. WHSQ encourages you to share this powerful film with your colleagues, customers, friends and family to remind them to keep safety top of mind.

For more information visit worksafe.qld.gov.au or call 1300 362 128.

Personal experiences bolster safety message

Garry Nichols is also a WHSQ Safety Advocate. Garry was an experienced farmer when he lost his leg because of a tractor rollover. He suffered traumatic injuries when his tractor hit a hidden rock, rolled and crushed his lower body.
He also lost his farm because of the financial hardship that followed.

“A small lapse in concentration and you could end up seriously injured—or worse. In my case it was a tractor. You may be driving home or walking across the road. A split second is all it takes.”

Between a rock and a hard place – Garry’s story shows how a moment of complacency in the workplace can lead to severe physical, emotional and financial problems.

Too fast too soon – Domenic’s story

Jodie and Mario Cocco joined WHSQ’s Safety Advocate program because their son Domenic suffered life-threatening injuries after crashing his quad bike into a power pole. Domenic was just seven years old, was not wearing a helmet and had not had any formal training.

“Before riding a quad bike, make sure you, your workers and your family have had formal training, wear a helmet, use the right sized quad bike and never ride double,” Jodie said.

Too fast, too soon – Domenic’s story shares the impact of the split second decision to allow Domenic to ride a quad bike without a helmet. Domenic is now a traumatic brain injury survivor.

WHSQ SAFETY ADVOCATES: Michael Garrels, Jed Millen, Robyn Neilson, Garry Nichols, Bill Martin, Gavan McGuane, Mario and Jodie Cocco, Deb and Dan Kennedy, Julie and Don Sager.

For more information visit worksafe.qld.gov.au

Article kindly provided by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Electricity-related deaths and accidents involving powerlines are preventable. Sadly, Energy Safe Victoria has seen over 200 serious incidents with high voltage powerlines since 2017, including 3 fatalities on farms.

Powerlines

As the state’s independent energy regulator, ESV provides tips and procedures for safe working conditions outdoors and avoid hazards which cause injury or death by electrocution.

Be aware of what is above you if your work involves:

  • Using tall machinery, such as cranes or augers
  • Driving high vehicles
  • Raising the tipper tray of trucks
  • Raising equipment such as irrigation pipes overhead
  • Climbing on top of machinery or storage silos

Powerlines are an integral part of our outdoor landscape, which makes them easy to forget. With the sun in your eyes, trees in your line of vision or if you are watching something else, you may not see how close you are to powerlines. Remember, trucks and machinery don’t have to make contact with the powerlines for injury or electrocution to occur – electricity can jump gaps.

Trucks and powerlines on farms

  • Everyone involved in the delivery of materials has a duty of care to ensure the safety of themselves and others
  • Electrocutions caused by trucks hitting powerlines on rural properties are on the increase in Victoria. Everyone involved in the delivery of bulk materials to farms is at risk.
  • Safety tips to reduce risk
  • Identify – Identify all areas where powerlines cross properties
  • Hazard map – Identify all electrical hazards before starting work – if in any doubt contact the local electricity distribution company
  • Move – Relocate bulk delivery storage sites to a safe area away from powerlines
  • Safe delivery – Suppliers of bulk materials must ascertain, when taking orders, the delivery point on the farm for the load, the proximity of powerlines and what safety precautions are in place should there be powerlines in the vicinity
  • Don’t park underneath – Never raise the tray of tipper trucks when underneath powerlines
  • Driver safety – Drivers should refuse to deliver loads if their safety is compromised in any way
  • Spot the hazard – Ensure an ESV registered spotter is on hand when working near overhead powerlines
  • Display LOOK UP AND LIVE stickers on any machinery or equipment which is raised overhead
  • Monitor weather conditions closely – powerlines can sag in extreme heat and sway in strong winds
  • Powerlines are more difficult to see at dawn and dusk
  • Remember that electricity can jump gaps
  • Only tip material near powerlines as a last resort when there is no other location

No Go Zones

  • Observe No Go Zones which prescribe a safe working distance from powerlines.
  • Remember, if you are not sure about the location of powerlines, check with your electricity distribution business. A list is on the ESV website.

No Go Zone: farm safety

One of the most significant issues regarding No Go Zones concerns rural and regional properties, especially farms. ESV all too often sees incidents where power lines come into contact with truck tippers (often farm deliveries such as feed or fertaliser), irrigators and other large plant equipment.

In these particular circumstances, the landowner (such as farmers) need to take the following precautions and make the information known to those working on the property:

  • identify all powerlines on site and at site entrance or exit points,
  • installlinemarkers,andwarningsigns(gatesigns)or other visual indicators on each side of the powerline to warn operators and drivers,
  • ensure designated travel paths, including loading and unloading areas are well away from powerlines.

Also:

  • be aware that powerlines are more difficult to see at dawn and dusk
  • Monitor weather conditions closely – powerlines can sag in extreme heat and sway in strong winds.
  • Be aware of spotter requirements for overhead works

No Go Zone: scaffolding rules

When using scaffolding near powerlines:

Merchandise

  • ESV produces a range of merchandise including No Go Zone stickers for heavy machinery such as trucks, and warning signs for large properties that have powerlines crossing them.
  • For more information go to www.esv.vic.gov.au or follow us on Facebook.

Fallen or sagging powerlines

  • If you see fallen and sagging wires do not go near them. Notify the local electricity distribution company or emergency services (police or SES) and stand guard until they arrive.

Recreation activities near powerlines

  • Recreation activities, such as sailing, flying a kite or model plane or climbing trees can also be a hazard around powerlines.
  • Do not fly kites or model aeroplanes anywhere near overhead powerlines.

For more information visit www.esv.vic.gov.au

According to National Geographic, 80% of the world’s fresh water is used for irrigation, and 60% of that water is wasted through evaporation, leaky channels and mismanagement. Therefore successful irrigation design is essential to know how much water should be applied to crops and how frequently.

The design of the system needs to effectively deal with soil and crop types, field size, shape and water supply, the system must be capable of delivering sufficient water during times of peak crop demand.

Planning an irrigation system for a new area requires some knowledge of soil types and the soil water reservoir. The soil is a reservoir of the water used by plants. Once it has been filled to capacity by irrigation or rainfall, the reservoir gradually becomes depleted by transpiration and evaporation, or evapotranspiration (ET). When the soil moisture reaches a predetermined minimum level (refill level), below this point the plant will wilt, irrigation should be applied in order to restore the soil moisture level to field capacity.

Irrigation scheduling is a system of working out when and how much water to apply to meet the quality and yield objectives. When to irrigate depends on the time it takes for the plant to use up the ready available water in the soil. How much irrigation to apply should not exceed the amount of water which is held in the wetted rootzone.

Scheduling can be based on soil moisture sensor’s which is a very effective method to estimate when to irrigate. A second method of scheduling is based on an indirect measurement of plant water use from meteorological data, the irrigation run times used by the plant since the previous irrigation event, water use is calculated from either evaporation or evaportranspiration (ET).

Successful irrigation requires not only efficient design but also proper scheduling. The latter is dependent to a large degree on the ability of the farmer to carry out irrigation events properly. Nowadays there are many control systems available ranging from irrigation management and soil moisture systems to a manually controlled operation.

There are many types of irrigation systems available ranging from Centre Pivot, Lateral Move, Boom Irrigator, Hard and Soft hose irrigators, K Line, Bike Shift, Fixed Sprinklers, Conventional Drip, Sub Surface and Flood. Prior to making a decision to purchase and irrigation system there are many factors you should consider. This is dependent upon your goals, farm size, area under irrigation, current system, pasture type, soil type, past problems, evaporation peak, water license mega litres, water supply (Dam/Bore/River/ Town), water quality and energy source.

An automated irrigation system is highly effective as it can deliver water when required and on time. Having a wireless solution means you have total control from your mobile phone or computer. You can ensure water use efficiency to reduce labour costs and improve the sustainability of your farm, vineyard or orchard.

At the end of the day, whatever system you choose for your project, it is important that you get a system designed and specified to perform and operate effectively.

Article kindly provided by Wrightcom Australia.

Banner Ad Image of Dial Before You Dig

Whether it’s delivering the world’s first Regenerative Agriculture degree, working with farmers on agroforestry projects or aquaculture breeding programs, Southern Cross University collaborates with communities and industry to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Drawing on Southern Cross University’s specialist expertise in plant science, agronomy, ecology, agroforestry, environmental chemistry and socio- ecological systems, our courses delve into the emerging practices of, and growing evidence-base for regenerative agriculture, examining human ecology, agroecology, regenerative agricultural strategies and soil management. Our students develop the capacity to produce regenerative strategies for farms and across landscapes.

Dr Hanabeth Luke, course coordinator for the Regenerative Agriculture course said “What’s really exciting about regenerative agriculture is all the different types of people from different areas and farming systems coming together for australian farming.

“That includes full-time farmers, hobby farmers and a third have no farming background but are wanting to get involved and make a difference. Students are inspired by the different practitioners throughout the program who share their regenerative practices across a range of industries to understand and see how it is working across Australia and internationally” said Ms Luke.

Our undergraduate and postgraduate regenerative agriculture degrees are designed for those wanting to be part of a new way of farming that better supports, and is supported by natural processes, building more resilient farms and farmers in a future of increased seasonal and weather variability. With opportunities to attend on-farm practical sessions and field-based residentials, our students continue to build a portfolio of knowledge and skills.

Founder of Southern Cross University’s Regenerative Agriculture Alliance (RAA) and Southern Cross Strategic Projects Director Lorraine Gordon said there was high demand from farmers seeking this kind of qualification.

“In its first year, the Bachelor of Science with a major in Regenerative Agriculture became the most popular agriculture degree in the country,” said Ms Gordon.

“This is part of a huge movement that demands we think the way we produce food and how we look after the very source that provides such food – our landscapes, our soils. We need a change in paradigm, a new narrative, and to recognise the role we play in ecological health” said Ms Gordon.

The Graduate Certificate in Regenerative Agriculture is designed for students from multi-disciplinary, science, agriculture and business backgrounds. The Bachelor of Science with a specialisation in Regenerative Agriculture provides a broader foundation and wider choice of unit selection. Students can now apply for Commonwealth Supported Program (CSP) funding for both programs.

For more information: scu.edu.au/regenerative-agriculture

nvironmental Analysis Lab

Three generations of the McIntyre family have contributed to making CAPS Australia the largest independent compressed air and power generation provider in a span of over 40 years.

The journey from starting a one-man business to building a company that has today become Australia’s largest independent compressed air and power generation provider with an Australia-wide network of nine branch locations and over 200 employees, did not happen overnight. Bob retired from the active running of the business in 2011, but remains today on the Board of Directors. Approximately 24 years ago, Bob’s son, Glenn McIntyre, joined his father, eventually taking on the leadership of the company as the current Executive General Manager. Glenn’s son, Rhys, also recently joined the business as National Rental Coordinator, continuing the family’s journey for the third generation.

Growing Flexibly

Looking back at the 40-year journey, Glenn believes being flexible and evolving with the market’s needs has been key to the company’s growth. CAPS supplies across many market segments including rural, mining, manufacturing and many others.

“Nothing ever stays the same in the market. The technology is changing, our customer’s requirements are changing and energy efficiency is critical. As an independent company, we have the advantage of being able to offer a broad range of brands and only quality machines that perform as they should year after year”, Glenn says.

Building it in-house

Early into its establishment, CAPS also quickly developed in-house ISO accredited engineering capabilities, which gave the company the ability to design and build equipment that suited Australia’s hot, dusty and harsh conditions as being able to offer bespoke customisations depending on the customer’s requirements.

On the services side, the company focussed extensively on growing its after-sale services capabilities. These services included fully trained technicians able to service all major brands of equipment Australia wide and a vast range of spare parts across the network.

Rural Range

The demands of a farm can be varied, whether is a portable diesel air compressor for blowing off headers, an electric compressor for the workshop or a back-up power generator to power the farm at any time. CAPS only supplies premium products you can rely on with known brands such as AIRMAN, KOHLER, INGERSOLL-RAND and many more.

So for any air or power generation requirements, please get in touch with CAPS Australia today:

1800 800 878 or check us out on www.caps.com.au

Article kindly provided by CAPS Australia

Workplace H&S qld Banner ad-5

Keep your workers safe from Q fever

Contracting Q fever is a high-risk hazard for agricultural workers working in livestock production and dairying. Q fever is an infectious disease that is spread from animals to people by bacteria called Coxiella burnetii. Cattle, sheep and goats are the most common source of human infection, but other animals such as kangaroos, bandicoots, camels, dogs and cats can also cause infection.

There are approximately 150 cases of Q fever in Queensland every year.

People become infected with Q fever by inhaling contaminated aerosols and dust from:

  • animals, animal products and waste (e.g. milk, wool, hides, fur, urine, faeces and birth products).
  • animal environments (e.g. soil, bedding, straw, hay and grass).
  • other contaminated items (e.g. machinery, equipment, vehicles and clothing).

Q fever vaccination is the best way to protect workers against infection. This requires pre-vaccination screening to exclude workers who have previously been infected with, or vaccinated against Q fever, as they are at increased risk for a severe vaccine reaction. If no immunity shows in the screening, then workers should be vaccinated against Q fever.

All new workers should undergo Q fever screening and vaccination before starting work. If this is not possible, they should undergo screening and vaccination as soon as possible after starting work and work in lower risk areas until they are known to be immune.

Safety tips to protect against Q fever:

  • eliminate the risks associated with Q fever (e.g. restrict
    non-immune persons from visiting the workplace)
  • substitute a work activity with something safer, such as:
    • changing a high-pressure water cleaning method with a low-pressure water system to minimise airborne aerosols
    • roster on immune workers for high risk locations and tasks
  • isolate the hazard:
    • restrict non-essential and non-immune persons from entering Q fever risk areas
    • isolate, enclose or contain the source of infection such as by installing enclosed visitor viewing areas at meatworks
    • use engineering and design controls to minimise exposure
  • develop safe work procedures to minimise Q fever risks
  • provide workers with information, instruction and training on Q fever
  • require contractors, labour hire workers and visitors to show proof of immunity to Q fever
  • keep the workplace clean to minimise the accumulation of dust and dirt
  • use signage to inform people about Q fever risks
  • handle and dispose of animal products appropriately
  • provide suitable washing facilities for workers
  • implement biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of infection between animals
  • use PPE.

Safety inductions

On farm inductions are the best way to ensure new workers (young and old) are aware of how the business operates, important procedures and how to manage workplace risks.

Inductions are also relevant to refresh workers moving to a new location in the business, those operating a new piece of machinery or workers who may have been on extended leave. An induction should also be given to visitors entering the workplace.

An induction checklist will help to ensure all topics are covered with each worker or visitor. Have the induction form signed and dated and store in your induction records for future reference.

Case study: The Howe Farming Group

The Howe Farming Group (HFG) at Walkamin in Far North Queensland called in Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) after an incident involving a piece of plant and equipment. An investigation identified that company procedures, policies and pre-start checks were not being understood by foreign workers.

HFG farm bananas, avocados, sugarcane, peanuts, blueberries, cotton, and coffee. They employ up to 500 workers including full time, casuals, locals, backpackers and seasonal workers from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

Company General Manager, Kimberley Mastin said, “the organisation had not been aware of the misunderstanding involving foreign workers.”

“We assumed that if they could work and physically perform the duties, then they understood the procedures. This was not the case.”

“It was suggested by WHSQ Inspectors to look at translating our guidelines, induction paperwork and pre-start checks to our workforce’s first languages.”

“We considered a couple of companies and were quoted $80,000-$140,000 for 40 documents to be translated into five languages. It was then decided we would use Google translate and get some of our crew to proofread to ensure the grammar was correct.”
“The translated documents are now part of our induction and training process. Once a full outline of the job is done through the guidelines, the normal training occurs.”
“Show the team member what to do, assist them to do the job and then watch them do it. Repeat if necessary,” Ms Mastin said.

HFG now also trains all operators of plant, equipment and vehicles on their roles and responsibilities so they fully understand how and why pre-start checks are done. Translated documents are added to employee packs and guidelines and a pictorial of a pre-start check was also prepared to ensure full comprehension of the machines and process.

Workers now have a better understanding of safety strategies for the company, as well plant and equipment safety. Workplace testing showed a massive rise from 12 per cent to 96 per cent of workers scoring top marks for knowing correct procedures and operating instructions.

More information

For more farm safety information visit worksafe.qld.gov.au.

Article kindly provided by Workplace Health & Safety Queensland

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Communities right across regional Victoria have been doing it particularly tough of late, with many parts of the state dealt the triple blow of dry weather conditions, summer bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic.

We recognise our regions are Victoria’s lifeblood. Regional Victoria’s many cities and towns are home to around one in four Victorians, account for 700,000 jobs and almost a quarter of the state’s small businesses. That makes for a lot of hard-working individuals and communities contributing to our $80 billion dollar regional economy

But importantly, through all the challenges there have also been opportunities and our regional communities aren’t on their own in working through them all, Regional Development Victoria (RDV) teams are always on the ground working hand in glove with regional communities and businesses.  

For instance, we’re helping boost stock of Personal Protective Equipment by teaming up with the likes of Med-Con in Shepparton, we’re supporting breweries as they pivot to supply hand-sanitiser, and we’re working with vulnerable businesses from critical sectors to help them navigate job, supply chain and market access challenges.  

It is in hands-on practical ways, such as these above examples attest, that we’re ensuring rural and regional Victoria maintains its reputation as one of the most modern and efficient in the world.

Bushfire Recovery

 
Fires in East Gippsland and the North East not only impacted businesses in the fire footprint in terms of animal welfare, livestock support and regional planning, but also affected producers including wineries across much of the state.

But we’re on the road to recovery.  

RDV staff are on the ground in Victoria’s fire affected regions speaking directly with many impacted businesses and communities and will continue to play a key role in the recovery effort. 

Building big to drive our state’s economic recovery

The Victorian Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works stimulus package – for works that can start straight away – is building projects that matter to Victoria, and putting people into employment.  

The package will create thousands of jobs, with more than half of the projects in rural and regional areas – from our smallest town to our most famous natural wonders including a new trail for the Twelve Apostles, a new visitor centre at Lake Tyrrell, a Mildura Riverfront upgrade, new accommodation at Mount Buffalo and a commercial and recreational project at Mt Hotham.  

Get to know us better

To find out more about the work we’re doing in rural and regional Victoria head to rdv.vic.gov.au 

Gates engineered hydraulic hose assemblies provide superior performance to the farming industry.

Farming requires high-powered, high-pressure hydraulics with a line of engineered and matched hydraulic hose and couplings. As part of an integrated solution, there are Gates hydraulic hose and coupling products that offer peak performance and flexibility with enhanced durability.

Gates Spiral-wire hoses are constructed of up to six alternating layers of spiraled, high tensile steel, designed and tested to an industry-leading 1 million impulse cycles with working temperatures of -40°C to +121°C.

Gates wire-braid constant pressure hose is constructed of up to two braids of high-tensile steel wire, designed and tested to an industry-leading 600,000 impulse cycles with working temperature of -40°C to +100°C.

MegaSys Hose - Group Shot 1

All Gates hoses utilise a synthetic rubber nitrile tube that is compatible with biodegradable hydraulic fluids, and are now available with abrasion resistant cover (25 times abrasion resistance over stranded covers) or even additional abrasion cover (300 times abrasion resistance over standard covers) for extra reliability and safety.

Gates hoses have colour-coded lay lines and pressure ratings through all sizes, making the hoses easier to identify in stock and in service while reducing inventory requirements. The lay line indicates hose trade name, size and pressure; SAE, EN or DIN standard; and US MSHA flame resistance compliance.

It is important when selecting hydraulic hose and couplings that the hose and couplings have been engineered and designed to work together, ensuring maximum efficiency and reliability. Mixing and matching of different hydraulic hoses and couplings can lead to reduced lifespan and susceptibility to breakdown, which not only costs time and money but can be a major safety factor.

Gates engineered coupling designs are also available as coupling for one- and two-wire braid hydraulic hoses and couplings are also available in four- and six-spiral wire hoses up to 8,000 psi. Corrosion-resistant plating is standard on both these types of couplings.

Maximise your equipment “up-time” by:

  • Simplifying hose selection
  • Increasing service life
  • Easing installation and routing with superior bend radius (1/3 SAE bend radius)
  • Lowering inventory requirements
  • Extending life in bending, flexing applications
  • Reducing costs by as much as 64 percent

For more information on Gates hydraulic products or Child Couplings distributed by Southcott, please visit www.southcott.com.au

Article kindly provided by Southcott Pty Ltd.

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The Victorian Government is providing support and services for farm businesses and rural communities recovering from challenging seasonal conditions.

Recovery can be a challenge for any farm business and it’s important to be able to make early decisions and prepare for the future.

Decision Making Support

Decision-making workshops and services delivered by Agriculture Victoria and industry partners provide technical support to assist farm businesses prepare for and manage challenging seasons and adverse events.

A range of tools, information and contacts for associated services are available at agriculture.vic.gov.au on a variety of topics including:

  • stock containment areas
  • feeding and managing livestock
  • farm water management
  • animal welfare
  • irrigation
  • whole farm planning
  • climate change risk management
  • business management
  • recovery after severe events

The website also lists upcoming events and workshops.

Network groups across the state support farmers and industry groups to upskill and share information and ideas with other farmers. These include the Young Farmer Business Network and groups such as BestWool/BestLamb, BetterBeef and the Horticulture Industry Network.

Farm Debt Mediation – Talk can be cheaper

Under Victorian legislation, banks and other creditors must offer to undertake mediation with farmers before they can initiate debt recovery on farm mortgages.

Farm debt mediation is a structured negotiation process where a neutral and independent mediator assists the farmer and the creditor to reach agreement about current and future debt arrangements.

The service is low cost (currently $195 per session, per party), confidential, independent and can help avoid the costs and other consequences of expensive and potentially unnecessary litigation.

Agriculture Victoria administers the scheme and the Victorian Small Business Commission arranges the mediation service.

For more information
Please contact a farm debt mediation officer on 136 186 or
Email farm.debt.@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service is a free, independent and confidential service staffed by qualified and experienced Rural Financial Counsellors who understand farming and business.

A Rural Financial Counsellor can help you better understand your financial position and the viability of your enterprise and help identify options to improve your financial position. Counsellors can also provide referrals and options for accessing government or industry grants and programs.

Counsellors have offices across the state and are available to come to your place of business.

For more information
Call 1300 771 741 or
Visit recovery.gov.au/programs/rural-financial-counselling

Smarter Safer Farms

Smarter, Safer Farms invests in programs to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of Victorian farmers, farming families and communities. Projects include: delivering more farmer health checks; access to free safety resources, tools and support to reduce risks on the farm; and, programs to enhance social connectedness through community events, training and awareness of mental health treatment and support options.

For more information, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/about/agriculture-in-victoria/smarter-safer-farms

Agriculture Victoria contacts

For general information about agriculture recovery
Call 136 186 or
Visit https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/farm-management/emergency-management

Article kindly provided by Agriculture Victoria

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