Best match for Category: in Australia

An independent company, CAPS Australia has the flexibility to deliver global leading products that are suited to Australian operating environments. Understanding the varied demands of farming, CAPS works alongside partner brands to deliver you time proven products.

Whether it is a portable diesel air compressor for blowing off headers, an electric compressor for the workshop or a back-up power generator for the farm, the complete air and power solution is provided by CAPS, where and when it is needed.

With ten branches Australia-wide and 24/7 service for maintenance and breakdowns, CAPS leads the industry in service and solutions, making it easy for customers to get expert advice, support and spare parts.

A company history that spans more than four decades, CAPS has grown to be Australia’s largest independent compressed air and power generation provider. Along the journey CAPS has proven itself as a trusted partner, supplying and supporting tailored air compressor systems, power generation solutions and nitrogen generation sets to the mining, agriculture and food manufacturing sectors.

CAPS delivers competitively priced, turnkey solutions that will help keep your operations running smoothly all year round. The extensive range of industrial equipment features world-renowned brands including Ingersoll Rand, AIRMAN, KOHLER, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Pedro Gil, FST, Beko, CAPS own brand, and many more.

Customers have full access to:

  • Rotary screw air compressors
  • Portable diesel air compressors
  • Power generators
  • Blowers
  • Gas generators (oxygen and nitrogen generators)
  • Air treatment equipment

In-house Capabilities and Support

In-house ISO accredited engineering capabilities, enable CAPS to design and build equipment that is suited Australia’s hot, dusty and harsh conditions, delivering bespoke customisations to suit customers’ operating requirements.

After-sale services include fully trained technicians able to service all major brands of equipment Australia wide, along with a vast range of spare parts across the network.

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

Speak to the team on 1800 800 878 or check us out on www.caps.com.au

Article kindly supplied by CAPS Australia

Powerlines may sag significantly between poles, potentially hanging three to four metres below their supports, making them prone to accidental contact. They can also sway in the wind and sag further in high temperatures, turning what seems like a safe distance into a serious risk to people and property.

You need to determine the height and reach of all machinery and plant used near powerlines and consider the way it is used to identify hazardous situations. Plant and machinery such as irrigation pipes, grain augers, elevators, grain silos, cranes and excavators all have the potential to contact powerlines.

Always lower an auger or other machinery before moving it.

Familiarise yourself with the overhead electrical system on, and near your property and maintain a safe distance from these powerlines. Ensure equipment operators and workers are properly trained to conduct activities near powerlines safely.

Before work starts:

  • Complete a risk assessment and put in place suitable safety measures.
  • Ensure equipment operators and workers are aware of overhead and underground power line locations, specified exclusion zones and the height and reach of equipment being used.
  • Be aware that the layout of powerlines may be altered by your electricity distributor.
  • Be aware that powerlines can move and vary in height due to factors such as wind and temperature and adjust work practices accordingly.
  • Equipment operators and workers should be made aware of the clearances that must be maintained.
  • Use highly visible ground markers to highlight overhead powerlines. Contact your electricity distributor for advice on visual markers.
  • Establish aircraft landing strips and approach paths away from powerlines.
  • Keep all crops and vegetation well clear of power poles and stay wires.
  • Ensure no damage occurs to poles, stay wires and overhead powerlines when burning off.
  • Ensure you have clearly defined emergency procedures and ensure all workers are familiar with them in the event of contact with electricity. The Look up and Live map can help you plan work near powerlines. It can help minimise contact and reduce the risk of injury or death from electrocution and damage to equipment. Visit ergon.com.au.

Why Kerryn O’Connor’s family wants you to understand the critical role of Regulatory Compliance Marks (RCM) on electrical equipment and the importance of safety switches switches

Kerryn O’Connor was only 35 years old when she was electrocuted by a submersible water pump she was using in the backyard of her home.

The pump wasn’t designed, manufactured or tested to Australian standards. An internal, hidden fault caused the outer metal casing of the pump to become live, killing Kerryn instantly.


Scan the QR code for more information about the RCM mark, safety switches and to watch Kerryn’s story.

Kerryn’s family want you to know that it doesn’t matter what electrical equipment you buy – a power saw, electric drill or portable generator – check for the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) printed on the product or its packaging. This means the product meets Australian safety standards.

Kerryn’s family also want you to know the importance of having safety switches on every circuit:

“It just would have meant the difference between Kerryn being with us and not being with us.”

Safety switches turn off the power in a fraction of a second if a leakage of current is detected. This can happen if there is a faulty power point or electrical appliance or you accidentally hit a live cable while drilling into a wall.

Lithium-ion battery-operated equipment


To learn more about buying lithium-ion battery equipment and how to use the equipment safely scan the QR code.

Lithium-ion battery operated equipment has grown in popularity but also comes with risks.

There have been several fires that have involved lithium-ion batteries in equipment like drones, remote control vehicles, power tools and other household or recreational devices with rechargeable batteries, both internal and detachable.

Article kindly provided by Electrical Safety Office Queensland

Improving workplace quad bike safety by introducing mandatory helmet, passenger and age restrictions

To improve the safety of workers and others operating quad bikes in Queensland workplaces, the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) has introduced new safety measures from 21 March 2024.

Feedback from industry and community consultation in 2022 emphasised the importance of helmets for safety, restricting children from operating adult-sized quad bikes, and limiting passenger carriage to designated vehicles.

The Work Health and Safety (Quad Bikes) Amendment Regulation 2024 does not apply to side-by-side vehicles, or quad bikes used outside workplaces.

It mandates the following safety measures:

Helmets

All individuals, including passengers, must wear securely fitted and fastened helmets while operating quad bikes.

Generally, helmets can be chosen based on the context in which a quad bike is used. Helmets that are considered appropriate for quad bikes include those compliant with AS/NZS1698, AS1698, ECE 22.05/06. An NZS 8600-02 compliant helmet may also be appropriate, but only if the speed of the quad bike does not exceed 30km/hr.

However, quad bike riders will need approved motorbike helmets if quad bikes are used in places where separate legislation already requires approved motorbike helmets. These areas extend to roads or road-related areas, state forests or timber reserves, protected areas (other than nature refuges or special wildlife reserves) and recreation areas, as administered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation.

Age restriction

To ride a quad bike, operators must be at least 16 years of age, or the minimum age recommended by the manufacturer. This means that children under 16 are not allowed on adult-sized quad bikes and can only ride on age-appropriate quad bikes in workplaces.

Passenger restriction

Quad bikes cannot carry passengers, unless the vehicle is explicitly designed for passenger use, and the passenger is at least 16 years old or meets the minimum age recommended by the quad bike’s manufacturer.

Enforcement and penalities

The regulation is enforced through OIR’s existing education, compliance, and enforcement program. Penalties apply for non-compliance.


For more information about the Work Health and Safety (Quad Bikes) Amendment Regulation 2024 scan the QR code or email safe@oir.qld.gov.au

Managing risks when using tractors

The greatest risk of injury from tractors comes from rollovers, runovers and moving parts. They are heavy vehicles and can crush people or animals.

  • Tractors can roll over on uneven or sloped terrain due to their top-heavy design.
  • Some tractors can be started and will move without a driver, risking runovers.
  • Moving parts on tractors can cause severe injuries or death by entangling clothing or injuring limbs.

Other risks include:

  • injury from collision with other objects including trees, vehicles and overhead power lines
  • injury from heavy objects falling when being lifted
  • noise-induced hearing loss
  • whole body vibration
  • slips, trips and falls while getting on and off the tractor.

Someone who knows all too well the risks that come from using tractors is Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Safety Advocate Garry Nichols.


Scan the QR code to watch Garry’s story.

Garry was an experienced farmer when he lost his leg in a tractor rollover incident which was caused by a hidden rock. Garry suffered traumatic injuries when the tractor rolled and crushed his lower body.

He also lost his farm through the financial hardship that followed.

These steps help minimise the risks that can occur from using a tractor.

Step 1. Identify the risk

Look at where you’ll be using the tractor and ask yourself:

  • Will I be on steep, rough, slippery or loose ground, or will the machinery or attachments I’m towing cause instability?
  • Am I lifting something that could shift and unbalance me or fall on me?>/li>
  • Could anyone fall from the seat or cab and get run over?>/li>
  • Can I start the engine without being in the operator’s seat?>/li>
  • Is the tractor’s electrical system in good working condition?>/li>
  • If there are children around, are they properly supervised?>/li>
  • Am I tired or working with drugs or alcohol in my system?>/li>

Also, ask other workers if they are aware of any potential hazards before you start work.

Identifying hazards should be a continuous and annual process, especially with changes in equipment, facilities or work practices.

Step 2. Assess the risk

Next, assess the level of risk posed by each hazard. The risk level is determined by:

  • how serious the potential harm is
  • how likely it is to happen.
  • You can find a risk assessment template at worksafe.qld.gov.au.

Step 3. Control the risk

The law requires you to eliminate risks if practical, or to minimise them as much as possible.

You should use the hierarchy of controls to select the most effective method to reduce or eliminate risks, possibly combining multiple measures.

Find the hierarchy of controls in the How to manage work health and safety risks code of practice 2021 at worksafe.qld.gov.au.

To control risk consider:

  • general tractor safety precaution
  • protective structures for falling objects during tree felling or similar tasks
  • suitable training for safe tractor operation and experience gain.

Step 4. Review the risk controls

Regularly review and proactively update your safety protocols to ensure a risk-free work environment.

Article kindly provided by Workplace Health & Safety Queensland

“I know my cattle service contractors really well, we have a really good relationship and I consider them to be my friends. As a farmer, it’s my job to keep everybody who comes on the farm safe,” Peter Miller, Almurta cattle farmer.

WorkSafe Victoria’s ‘It’s never you, until it is’ campaign is running across regional channels, focusing on managing fatigue on the farm, checking you’ve got the right safety gear for the job, strategies to stay safe working alone and safer cattle handling.

New cattle handling information encourages farmers to make achievable changes to keep everyone safe on farms, with the motto ‘It’s the least I can do’.

Developed alongside the cattle industry, the new resources aim to keep farm businesses running smoothly and efficiently with safety in mind, so all those working with cattle can return home safely each day.

WorkSafe has revealed that cattle handling is the second most common cause of workplace death on Victorian farms, claiming five lives since 2018, while an average of almost one person every week is injured seriously enough while working with cattle to receive workers compensation.

Almurta cattle farmer Peter Miller is a first-generation farmer who has spent the past 15 years breeding cows and calves.
As a farmer with homemade yards, Peter has worked on getting his facilities as good as they can be. “Stockyards are a dangerous place,” he says.

“I was loading cattle myself one day in the race, where you shouldn’t be, but there was no other option because of the way it was designed and built.

“The worst thing happened because a heifer was coming out of that truck, and there was nowhere for me to go.

“I was quite lucky that she wasn’t big and we managed to both pass one another in the race but if she had knocked me down, she would have gone straight over the top of me. The lucky people can tell you a story like that.”

Near-miss experiences like this are part of the reason Peter has since made changes to how he and livestock transporters load cattle on his property.

“When we first started in Almurta the stockyards were reasonable, but there was no walkway. We’re now in the process of upgrading the loading ramp,” he says.

“We’re putting a walkway down the side, gates at the front, an end gate and a walkway around the force pen.

“This will mean there’s no need for the truck driver to be behind or in with the cattle at any time. It’ll be a lot safer for transporters.”

But Peter knows it’s not just yard design and maintenance that keeps farmers safe.

Awareness of your surroundings and understanding the animals you work with are essential components of farm safety.

“In the yard you need to be careful with cows and have cattle awareness. That’s more than anything else – being aware of where you are, and always having a plan B.

“You’ve always got to be thinking one step ahead of yourself, not one step behind.”

WorkSafe’s initial promotion of the new resources encourages small improvements for big wins in safety and efficiency, with a focus on yard maintenance, surfaces and gates and latches.

There’s further information on mustering, drafting, crushes, loading and unloading, cattle behaviour, designing cattle yards, and safety responsibilities – for both the farmer and cattle service businesses.

The resources also include a printable checklist to help you evaluate the safety of yards and identify any improvement areas.

For Timboon livestock agent Tim Nowell, experiencing a workplace fatality has given him a unique perspective on safety that differs from many other experienced agents and farmers.

This is why he’s passionate about sharing his perspective, particularly with the next generation.

As agriculture continues to evolve and new people enter the industry, Tim sees an opportunity to embed a positive safety culture in future farmers and agents.

“I think it’s important that we make sure livestock agents feel comfortable having safety conversations with farmers,” Tim says.

“If younger stock agents go to stockyards now and they think something’s not right, they will ring me, or they’ll get me to go out and have a look at it. It’s about changing people’s mindset.”

Tim knows farmers are ultimately responsible for the safety of people who visit and work on their properties, but he also believes open dialogue between farmers and agents is essential to safer farms now and in the future.

“The most dangerous part of my work is the unknown,” he says.

“Having conversations with farmers is essential to being able to evaluate how safe a situation is and being able to take yourself out of something that isn’t as safe as it should be.”


Scan for safer cattle handling information.

Tim’s experiences have left him with an approach that he wants to share with other agents and farmers who might not prioritise safety.

“If we start doing work on-farm and we see something that’s not right, or not working, we have that conversation with the farmer and ask them to fix it before we continue or make these upgrades,” he says.

“Ninety nine per cent of farmers are open to that and they will do what we ask.

“Providing safety feedback – as part of a safety culture – to our clients and farmers is critically important.”

Tim’s final message for livestock agents and farmers alike is, “If it’s not safe, make it safe. If you can’t make it safe, don’t do it.”

To find the safer cattle handling information, visit worksafe.vic.gov.au/safer-cattle-handling

Written in collaboration with Bec Adam – ACM Agri

Article kindly provided by WorkSafe Victoria

Coming into contact with powerlines is always dangerous and sometimes deadly. One of the most tragic incidents of this type we have seen in Victoria in recent years involved a 55-year-old truck driver who, in 2018, was killed on a property at Kergunyah, south of Wodonga. As the truck’s trailer was raised it hit powerlines and brought them down onto the truck, which then caught fire. It is believed the driver tried to escape the fire but was tragically, electrocuted as he tried to leave the truck.

This shocking accident continues to serve as a reminder to farm workers and heavy machinery operators about the importance of working safely around powerlines and electricity infrastructure. The clear message to farmers and other workers on the land: Look up and Live.

Energy Safe Victoria’s long-running Look up and Live campaign focuses on raising awareness of the potential danger of powerlines in regional and rural areas.

The campaign was launched in 2006 after three people were killed in similar but separate incidents where tipper trucks hit powerlines. Four years later tragedy struck again when a father and son were killed when a windmill they were moving made contact with powerlines. These incidents along with the death of the truck driver in 2018 and frequent near misses demonstrate the need for increased awareness about powerline safety.

Electricity Jumps

Trucks and machinery don’t have to touch the powerlines for injury or electrocution to occur. Electricity can jump gaps. This is why there are established No Go Zones around powerlines.

Even if you have scouted out powerlines and other safety risks, you need to make a final check before operating in the space above you.
Wherever you spot powerlines on poles or towers, be aware of these No Go Zone guidelines:

  • Never work within 3 metres of overhead powerlines on poles.
  • Use a spotter or safety observer when working between 3 and 6.4 metres of powerlines on poles.
  • Never work within 8 metres of powerlines on towers.
  • Use a spotter or safety observer when working in-between 8 and 10 metres of powerlines on towers.

A Rise in Incidents

During 2023 there were 451 incidents where machinery connected to powerlines. The majority of these (156) involved backhoes and excavators. The overall figure is a significant rise on previous years with 339 incidents reported in 2022 and 314 in 2021. In January 2023, a worker was seriously injured while chasing a possum to the top of a high voltage pole at Combienbar in East Gippsland. The person received a serious shock and burns having made contact with high voltage conductors during the chase.

During April and May 2021 there was a cluster of incidents involving contact with powerlines with five cases being reported to Energy Safe over a four-week period.

The first incident left two men injured with one taken to hospital in a serious condition. The pair was hurt when a crane offloading building materials connected with overhead 22kV powerlines in Dromana.

The following week, a man was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in critical condition after the equipment he was transporting hit powerlines at a property in Harston, south-west of Shepparton. The man had been standing on a forklift that was towing a grain auger, He received a severe electric shock when the auger hit overhead powerlines.

In the same week, a tipper truck hit a high voltage conductor at Trafalgar South with the driver taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Just a few days later, another truck driver was critically injured when an excavator, sitting on the truck, made conduct with high voltage wires in Pakenham. The driver had been placing ramps on the truck at the time and suffered an electric shock.

The final incident recorded in 2023 occurred when a trailer sitting on the back of a tipper truck made contact with high voltage overhead conductors in Mangalore, south of Shepparton. The incident resulted in two tyres on the truck exploding injuring the driver.

These incidents highlight the dangers powerlines can pose, especially when damaged. They also indicate a lack of awareness or a level of complacency among truck drivers and heavy machinery drivers in relation to safety risks.

Trucks and Powerlines on Farms

Farmers are more likely to die at work than any other worker in Victoria – about 30 per cent of workplace deaths occur on farms. Farmers work long hours and often are highly skilled in operating machinery. However, it may sometimes be tempting to jump in and get the job done quickly. A lack of proper planning can put your life and the life of others at risk.

Safety tips when working around powerlines on farms:

  • Identify all areas where powerlines cross properties.
  • Identify all electrical hazards before starting work – if in doubt contact the local electricity distribution company.
  • Relocate bulk delivery storage sites to a safe area away from powerlines.
  • When taking orders, suppliers of bulk materials must ascertain; the delivery point on the farm for the load, the proximity of powerlines and what safety precautions are in place if powerlines are in the vicinity.
  • When underneath powerlines, never raise the tray of tipper trucks.
  • Drivers should refuse to deliver loads if they feel that their safety is compromised in any way
  • Where possible use a spotter or safety observer when working near overhead powerlines.
  • Display look up and live stickers on any machinery or equipment that is raised overhead.
  • Monitor weather conditions closely – remember powerlines can sag in extreme heat and sway in strong winds.
  • Powerlines are more difficult to see at dawn and dusk, particularly single-wire high-voltage lines.
  • Remember that electricity can jump gaps.
  • Display an Energy Safe warning sign (farm sign) on areas where there is risk on the farm.

Powerlines on Farms

Victorian electricity distributors have extensive rural networks, totalling 84,000 kms of powerlines. Much of the rural network is made up of SWER powerlines.

SWER is a single-wire high-voltage line which supplies single-phase electric power from an electrical grid, with all equipment grounded to earth and with the earth used as the return path for the load currents.

Because SWER powerlines have only one bare line, they can be hard to spot, particularly on hot sunny days. Often there are long distances between poles, vegetation and even the time of day can affect visibility. You might lose track of the grid or think the powerline is not in the area where you’re working.

Accidents can be prevented if you take the time to look up and check your work area. Working in remote rural areas can be difficult for emergency services to access. Should something go wrong, it could take extra time for help arrive due to the long distances.

Spotters

Spotters are registered workers who ensure safe clearances are maintained by observing the operation of workers and equipment. The role of a spotter is to warn operators if they’re getting too close to powerlines and other buried energy assets. They minimise the risk of electrocution and damage to energy assets both above and under the ground.

Spotters are registered by Energy Safe Victoria and will have an Energy Safe spotter card.

The spotters’ course is designed to develop the techniques and skills needed to observe and warn workers against unsafe approaches towards overhead and underground energy assets.

While spotters and or safety observers are an additional cost and consideration, it is worth remembering a spotter’s sole responsibility is looking out for the safety of their co-workers. The cost of a spotter is far less than an accident that costs a life.

If Something Does Go Wrong

The best approach to avoiding accidents is to take time to survey the site and carefully plan your work. Identify all electricity infrastructure including poles, towers and powerlines. Remember that the position and height can change due to the weather. Don’t assume because you’ve done the job once that things will stay the same. Survey the site each time you are about to operate there.

If equipment comes into contact with powerlines call the relevant power company immediately. If powerlines fall across your vehicle, stay inside if it is safe to do so, until the power has been switched off. If you do attempt to leave the vehicle before the power is off, the outcome could be fatal.

If you have to leave the vehicle because of some other life-threatening situation such as fire, jump clear of the vehicle – do not step off – keep both feet together. Hop or shuffle away. Contact with the ground and the vehicle at the same time could kill you.

If when exiting the vehicle, you fall over, don’t stand up. You should roll away to minimise the risk.

If anyone else is nearby, they need to stay at least 8-10 metres away from your vehicle and any other fallen powerlines.

Be Aware of What is Above You

Take extra care to watch for powerlines 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.

About Us

At Energy Safe Victoria we do everything in our power to keep Victoria energy safe.

We engage with the community to raise awareness of energy safety risks and regulate industry and the energy sector to ensure generation, supply and usage, to uphold safety standards.

In everything we do, we strive to deliver on our purpose to keep Victoria energy safe. Always.

Further information

More information is available on the Energy Safe Victoria Website: www.esv.vic.gov.au

To order farm safety signs and stickers, go to: www.esv.vic.gov.au/merchandise

Article kindly provided by Energy safe Victoria

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

Technical Information and Decision-Making Support

Agriculture Victoria is working with Victorian farmers and industry to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters through the delivery of technical information and decision-making support. This includes information and services related to:

  • Grazing, cropping, and pasture management
  • Irrigation and horticulture system rehabilitation
  • Soil erosion management
  • Land management
  • Animal health and nutrition
  • Farm mapping and planning
  • Water quality
  • Weed management.

Contact the Agriculture Recovery team on 136 18 or email ecovery@agriculture.vic.gov.au for more information and support. You can also visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/events for the latest on in-person and online events.

Farm Business Resilience Program (FBR)

The program supports farmers to develop knowledge and skills to improve their farm business and be better equipped to manage the impacts of drought and a changing climate. The program supports farmers to improve skills and management practices in:

  • Business planning and risk management
  • Farm finances and profitable decision making
  • Managing people on farm, farm safety, and wellbeing
  • Climate adaptation and natural resource improvement including soil, water, crops, and pastures.
  • For more information on the Farm Business Resilience program and to keep up to date with the latest information on FBR courses, workshops, services and resources, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/FBRP and subscribe to the Recovery and Resilience e-newsletter.

    The Farm Business Resilience Program is jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Victorian Government’s Future Agriculture Skills Capacity Fund.

    Network groups and events

    Agriculture Victoria’s networks and groups support farmers, growers, and industry to adopt and share information and ideas, including the Young Farmer Business Network, BestWool/BestLamb, BetterBeef, and the Horticulture Industry Network. Visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/support-and-resources/networks

    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, 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 rfcsnetwork.com.au.

    The Rural Financial Counselling Service is funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments.

    Farm debt mediation – your farm, your business

    In Victoria, 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 an agreement about current and future debt arrangements.

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

    The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) manages all aspects of the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme. Agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, and timber production businesses are all included.

    For more information call the VSBC on 1800 878 964, or enquiries@vsbc.vic.gov.au or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au and search ‘farmers’.

    Article kindly provided by Agriculture Victoria.

    A seeder hits a powerline while making a turn. A tip truck contacts powerlines while collecting grain. A tractor runs straight over the top of a Stobie pole. A boom sprayer contacts a powerline while being raised.
    These are just some of the incidents regularly occurring on South Australia’s broad acre farms. All of them have the potential to result in a fatality. Yet all of them are avoidable.

    “Since the beginning of 2021 we have seen a surge in on-farm incidents with 96 serious incidents recorded to the end of 2023,” said Paul Roberts, Head of Corporate Affairs at SA Power Networks.

    “Our crews are regularly being called out to high-risk incidents right across the broad acre cropping areas of the State.

    “Whether it is a farmer undertaking seeding or harvesting the crop, a contractor building a new shed, or people working in the grain handling area of the farm, overhead powerlines are a clear hazard and a potentially-fatal risk,” he said.

    Powerlines are no small issue on farms. More than 190,000 stobie poles and 35,000km of powerline are present across South Australia’s cropping regions.

    Both are an essential part of supplying electricity to communities across the state, but they can also pose a safety hazard needing management on farms.

    “Most of the powerlines on farms are 19,000 Volt SWER (Single Wire Earth Return) powerlines – that is a high voltage that is potentially lethal or that, at best, could cause significant long-term injuries.”

    Paul said the reality was that incidents on farms could be avoided through appropriate work site and task planning.

    “The location of powerlines should be treated as a critical issue.

    “When undertaking specific tasks, all on-farm workers, including family members, contractors and anyone lending a helping hand, need to be made aware of the location of powerlines and Stobie poles where they will be working and the potential risks.

    “And when building a grain handling site on a farm, don’t build under powerlines.”

    To help local farmers in their planning, they can access mapping of South Australia’s electricity distribution infrastructure via the Look Up and Live app and website www.lookupandlive.com.au
    “The Look Up and Live app and website are free resources that provide farmers and other people undertaking rural activity with access to mapped information on the location and voltage of powerlines and poles on their properties,” Paul said.

    “We recommend checking the location of powerlines at the www.lookupandlive.com.au website when planning work and then confirming with a visual inspection on site before actually commencing work.

    “Both steps are important. There may have been some change to the configuration of powerlines on your property and, with equipment getting taller and wider, that means you must review your powerline clearances before undertaking work,” he said.

    “Powerlines can be difficult to see, especially in dusty conditions, and they can sag in heat, so confirming their location before you start work, could avoid serious injury or even save a life,” Paul said.

    “And if someone else is going to undertake the task, make sure you have a discussion about the various safety hazards they need to be made aware of before they commence the job.”

    Paul said in recent times there had been incidents where grain handling equipment and work areas had been located under powerlines.

    at is a potential tragedy waiting to happen and we recommend locating areas where you will be handling grain using equipment such as augers well away from powerlines.

    “It’s also not uncommon for operators of tip trucks to park under powerlines and raise the tipper, with serious consequences,” Paul said.

    “One recent example of this ended up with the truck wheels being blown many metres off the vehicle. That’s reflective of the energy being carried in powerlines and why they pose such a serious risk.”

    Paul said the reality was on-farm incidents could be avoided through ensuring farmers and farm employees have an appropriate work site away from powerlines, and undertaking thorough planning before completing any tasks.

    Serious on-farm incidents involving powerlines/activity
    Source: SA Power Networks

    Extra care is suggested when on-farm work involves:

    • Using tall or wide vehicles and machinery
  • Relying on GPS to steer your vehicle
  • Raising the tipper tray of trucks
  • Raising farm equipment such as irrigation pipes overhead
  • Climbing on top of machinery or storage silos
  • Farm workers and contractors who are not familiar with your property and the location of powerlines are undertaking work.
  • Improve deterrence and enforcement.

    What to do if you contact a powerline

    If a vehicle strikes a powerline, unless there is some other emergency, it is best to stay inside the vehicle until help can arrive.

    When a vehicle comes into contact with powerlines you should immediately contact SA Power Networks on 13 13 66 stay in your vehicle until SA Power Networks confirms it is safe to do so.

    Others in the vicinity also should keep well clear of the vehicle until SA Power Networks confirms the line is safe.

    If the vehicle needs to be evacuated, jump clear without retaining contact with the vehicle. Land on both feet and shuffle away until at least 10 metres clear.

    In a power emergency call SA Power Networks on 13 13 66. For an ambulance or police assistance, call 000.

    Article kindly provided by SA Power Networks.

    Look up and Live logo

    Farming families risk creating problems and expense or reducing their options by leaving succession planning too late. Sometimes this can result in the farming property being sold or broken up. Sometimes it’s the family that breaks up.

    Estate planning involving all family members and taking into account individual expectations can often prevent problems, such as breakdowns in family relationships and trust, emerging later on.

    Instead of a planned handover of management, control and ownership of the farm over time, families often wait for a major life event before considering farm succession and passing on the enterprise to the next generation.

    These events can be the older generation wanting to retire, a son or daughter returning home to work on the farm, a new marriage or death in the family, or a housing issue. Ideal planning occurs when the family makes an informed decision before that happens in conjunction with all interested parties when decisions can be made by choice and not necessity.

    Often both generations do not negotiate their wishes, their expectations, remuneration, holidays, housing issues, what they stand to inherit and what financial support is needed for off farm family members and parents in retirement.

    It is very traumatic for the farm family that has not planned for succession when a situation dawns on them and they realise the farm needs to be sold.

    Good succession planning should encompass early planning around a profitable business with off farm investment to provide for the older generation’s retirement and the needs of off farm siblings. It should begin by managing the expectation of farm family members.

    Succession Planning:

    Understanding families is the key to effective estate planning:

    Having a clear understanding of your family at the outset of the planning process helps ensure that the plan suits the particular needs of your individual families.

    The best source of information about families comes from you, who has the clearest knowledge of family strengths and weaknesses and can guide in the preparation of estate plans that fit your circumstances.

    The challenge is getting family members to accept decisions that need to be made:

    Succession (Estate) planning involves arranging a family’s assets and circumstances to ensure that you derive from those assets, maximum use and enjoyment at a minimum cost in tax and duties and to put in place a plan ensuring that the farming assets are passed to the next generation at the same time ensuring your financial security in retirement and providing bequests for “off farm” children.

    The planning process:

    The process require a review of your circumstances and farm structure and our formulating a plan and recommendations which include:

    • consideration of transfer/gift of assets to children;
    • introduction of children into the farm business;
    • your retirement, if applicable;
    • asset protection;
    • changes to the farming structure;
    • effective wills;

    Your affairs are unique and require individual attention. Succession planning requires an initial comprehensive understanding of your financial and personal needs, asset holdings, your needs and plans and those of your children, especially those actively involved with the property.

    Asset Protection:

    Generally the main concern is the protection of the family assets. This is because:-

    • we want to ensure that our personal and business assets are protected for future generations;
    • we want to ensure that our assets are protected from attack from creditors, bankruptcy etc.
    • we want to ensure that the assets that pass to our children are protected from creditors, bankruptcy, marriage breakdown, etc.
    • we need to ensure the security of our cash flow and financial security in retirement;
    • the society we live in is increasingly at risk from litigation.
    • Asset protection is a real concern and an integral part of a succession plan.

    Family Protection:

    Another major concern is to avoid family dispute and breakdown of family relationships. Your succession plan needs to consider each family member and consideration given to their circumstances. In most situations it is not possible, and sometimes not fair, to treat all children equally. Our experience is that children are more likely to understand if consulted and become involved in the planning process.

    A succession plan needs to identify any potential problems and make suggestions and recommendations to try and avoid conflict in the future.

    Other Topics considered in Succession Planning:

    In considering Succession Planning, there are other issues that may be relevant to your circumstances and questions.

    These other issues you may wish to address include:-

    • Transfer of assets to children by gift or otherwise during your lifetime;
    • Existing business / farm structures and recommended changes;
    • Options and Buy / Sell Agreements;
    • Retirement;
    • Pre-nuptial and de-facto Agreements;
    • Guardians for children;
    • Enduring Powers of Attorney;
    • Advance Health Directives;
    • Insurance / Superannuation;
    • Family challenges to your Will and Estate;
    • Retention of assets in the family.

    Accounting and Financial Advice:

    Your solicitor’s advices deal with legal issues only. Taxation, Superannuation and Income Generation issues are matters for the expertise of your Accountant and Financial Advisor and you should consult them in regard to those matters. A sound succession plan can only be achieved by combining your own family’s goals with good legal and financial advice.

    Article kindly supplied by Finemore Walters & Story Solicitors.

    Substantial changes have been made to the Australian Consumer Law1 to ensure standard form contracts contain fair terms that level the playing field for small to medium businesses and significantly increase the number of small business contracts that are captured under the unfair contract term protections.

    ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh states, “The changes to the unfair contract terms laws should motivate businesses to take steps to ensure their standard form contracts are fair, including by removing or amending concerning terms.”2

    Penalties for unfair contract terms

    The motivation Mr. Keogh refers to is the significant penalties to be imposed upon those seeking to implement unfair contract terms introduced on 9 November 2023.

    Maximum fine for corporations:

    • $50 Million.
    • 3 times the value of the benefit received from the unfair term.
    • If the value cannot be determined, 30% of the adjusted turnover during the breach period.

    Maximum fine for an individual:

    • $2.5 Million.

    Previously, when a standard form contract was found to have an unfair contract term, the term was void and unenforceable without penalty.

    Changes for small business contracts

    The regime of protection from unfair contract terms applies to consumer contracts or small business contracts if they are standard form contracts. A standard form contract generally refers to terms that are presented to a customer without an effective opportunity to negotiate them.

    A consumer contract refers to any contract for a supply of goods, services or an interest in land to an individual whose acquisition of the goods, services or interest is wholly or predominantly for personal, domestic or household use or consumption.

    Significant changes have been made to the scope of a small business contract, with the aim of substantially increasing the number of small business contracts captured under the unfair contract term protections. Under the new changes, there will be a small business contract where either party has fewer than 100 employees and has a turnover of less than $10,000,000, which is a significant increase to these thresholds.

    Next Steps

    It is advisable to review your standard form contracts, as recommended by the ACCC (Businesses urged to remove unfair contract terms ahead of law changes |ACCC).

    The financial consequences of just having an unfair contract term in a standard form contract, even if it is not sought to be imposed, are significant, and all businesses need to ensure they are fully prepared to avoid such risks.

    For more information, you are welcome to watch a recording of a webinar on this topic at: https://www.dwfoxtucker.com.au/event/seminar-the-consequences-of-unfair-contract-terms

    —————————————–

    1 Found in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

    2 Businesses urged to remove unfair contract terms ahead of law changes | ACCC.

    When it comes to powering your agricultural endeavors, trust only the best. AG Diesel Pumps and Injectors are your ultimate partner in keeping all your farm machinery running.

    Your One-Stop Shop: From your trusty farm ute to essential diesel water pumps, diesel generators, tractors, and plant equipment, AG Diesel covers it all. AG are diesel and turbocharger specialists trusted by workshops, agricultural dealerships and the general public alike. We have extensive test facilities to ensure you get the right repair. With over 50 years in the industry, we understand the unique needs of agricultural operations like no other.

    Swift Solutions: In the fast-paced world of farming, downtime is simply not an option. That’s why AG Diesel prioritizes fast repairs and quality service. With a vast inventory and a robust supply network, we ensure that you get what you need promptly, getting you back up and running in no time.

    Specialists in the Field: Hard-to-source parts? No problem. AG Diesel specializes in sourcing and repairing even the most elusive parts, ensuring that your equipment operates at peak performance. Whether you need genuine or aftermarket parts, we’ve got you covered.

    Nationwide Reach, Local Care: No matter where you are in Australia, AG Diesel ensures reasonable freight rates for swift delivery to your doorstep. Our commitment to serving farmers across the country knows no bounds.

    Upgrade Your Farming Experience Today: Don’t let equipment woes hold you back. Experience the difference with AG Diesel Pumps and Injectors. Trust in our decades of expertise, fast repairs, and comprehensive service to keep your agricultural operations running smoothly.

    Join the AG Diesel Family: Join the countless farmers who rely on AG for their agricultural diesel fuel injection and turbocharger needs. Visit our website at https://www.agdiesel.com.au or contact us today on 1300 AG DIESEL to learn more about how we can elevate your farming experience. AG – your trusted partner in agricultural excellence.

    Article kindly supplied by AG Diesel.

    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.

    Essential Energy Safety Stickers - 2

    “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

    Essential Energy Safety Stickers -1

    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.

    Workplace H&S qld Banner ad-5

    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.