Co-owner of Brecon Breeders
Bill met two of SafeWork SA’s WHS Advisors at a farmers’ workshop in Keith, a regional town in the South-East of South Australia, and invited them to visit his rural property and business for advice.
The advisors made everything simple to understand and easy to implement. I only met them by chance, but I found them to be very genuine and they’ve provided our livestock breeding business and farm with immense value through practical suggestions.
As a livestock breeding service and farm we’ve got strict protocols for quarantine and we’re also handling livestock, so that adds a level of risk for us and our workers. Those factors were really the basis around building our work health and safety procedures.
There are three of us working full time on the livestock breeding service and farm, plus another three contractors for busy periods. We have a duty of care for all the people that work with us. Regardless, my wife and I have a very close relationship with all our workers and we care about their wellbeing.
After meeting the SafeWork SA advisors at the farmers’ workshop I thought it would be a good idea to ask if they could come and see us, just to assess how we were going and make sure we were complying with legislation. They came out to the farm the next morning. It was so fast, which was fantastic.
I had no hesitation in showing the advisors though our procedures and paperwork and I also took them for a walk through our buildings, including office and woolshed. They made suggestions there and then on how we could make improvements and they answered all my questions. It was quite pleasing to hear that most of what we had in place already was correct.
It was very helpful to have the advisors looking at our workplace with a fresh set of eyes. We’re working on the farm and livestock breeding business every day, so we get used to it, but it was really valuable to have a different set of eyes look for potential WHS hazards and notice things that maybe we hadn’t thought of. Once the advisors pointed out a couple of small things, I started to notice other things on my own and then rectified them.
For people thinking about contacting the Workplace Advisory Service, I say just do it. You’re obliged to have safety systems, so you might as well do it right. The advisors are a great place to start whether you’re just starting out with your WHS, or if you’ve already got some systems in place but want someone to look over them”.
Bill and Margie Trowbridge are the owners of Brecon Breeders that offer customers a livestock breeding service (sheep) located in Keith, South Australia. They also run a farm. Their business operations require the application of strict protocols across their WHS systems and procedures.