Administration Officer at Thornby Premium Lamb
consulted SafeWork SA’s WHS Advisors for work health and safety advice and she took it one step further, showing the advisors her dedication to the wellbeing of workers on the farming properties that she works at.
We’ve placed a big focus on health and wellbeing for our workers, which is really important to us–we don’t want people operating machinery if they don’t feel one hundred percent. The WHS Advisors were very supportive of what we’re doing as far as nutrition, hydration and rest and they made it clear that they’re here to help us continue down this path.
During harvest and seeding it’s an especially busy, stressful time for us. There’s a lot to factor in from a WHS point of view. There are tight schedules that we have to meet, but never at the expense of our workers’ safety. During these times the weather is often really hot too.
The advisors were delighted to see the importance we’re placing on health and how we’re linking it in with safety. Fatigue and dehydration are just a couple of risks that we can overcome through good health in our WHS practices.
Our workers all know that if they’re feeling tired, they don’t need to push through. Instead they can get out of the vehicle, if they’re in one, and have a quick walk around. If they still feel tired they can set their alarm for a 20 minute nap to help them recharge.
In general, farmers work long hours and they might resort to snacks that aren’t necessarily great for them, especially considering the requirements that they put on their bodies at work. We organised for a nutritionist to come out and speak to our team. She talked to us about the way our bodies respond to sugary foods and the kind of food options we should consider instead, plus the importance of having breakfast, keeping hydrated and exercising to keep yourself physically strong.
Since that visit, we’ve implemented really simple things like putting electrolyte tablets in the lunch room for people to pop into their glass of water, fruit on the table, nuts for snacks, and having more water bottles available. We’ve also installed a refrigerated water filter system. The workers have become so much more aware about preventing dehydration and heat stroke. Previously not everyone understood how serious heat illnesses could be.
We absolutely want our workers to be healthy–we’re a close team and we care about each other, and of course from an employer perspective if we have healthy employees then there are less sick days in the business. Our focus on health has been a good investment for the business, especially if it results in outcomes that lower costs in the long term.
We’re really proud of how far our work health and safety has come and we’ll ask the SafeWork SA Work Health and Safety Advisors back to visit us every few years to make sure we’re staying on track.
You’ve got to start somewhere with your WHS and it’s not as hard as you think. I’d definitely recommend the SafeWork SA Workplace Advisory Service – it was free and the advisors were friendly, helpful and professional in their approach”.
Jodi Swalue is the Administration Officer at Thornby Premium Lamb, a South Australian farming business located in Sanderston that provides fresh, premium quality lamb for the public to enjoy. As a mixed farming business that operates all year round, looking after their workers’ health and wellbeing is an important part of their WHS practices.