Owner of The Riding Patch
speaks about her experience and the practical help she received from our new Workplace Advisory Service.
The advice provided was relevant to us and helped us prioritise what part was important for our business and where we needed to start. It's really worth doing.
"I heard about SafeWork SA's Workplace Advisory Service at an evening workshop hosted through my professional network. Excited by the prospect of free advice, I wanted to develop my business and so I contacted SafeWork SA and a WHS advisor was assigned to work with me.
I previously sought professional advice but found it was not tailored to my businesses and difficult to use in a relevant way. Many of the forms were out-dated and from interstate.
The process was simple and manageable. We connected with the advisor because we were able to write a health and safety policy in our own words, relevant to our job, our industry and to our situation. It's all about having someone that has the knowledge, so that we can get the correct information.
I've been lucky to have mentors in the industry that have made me aware of the importance of safety; you need to check out so many parts of the horse in different situations. People just don't realise that when things go wrong, they go wrong quick, and if an injury or accident happens at your place, you're just gutted.
Safety at work is an ongoing process, my team and I consciously integrate safety into everything we do. We looked at horse assessments and came up with a solution for our program horses, including a checklist for that horse and what the rider does with that horse.
We're now revising lesson plans to personalise them, especially when working with children with disabilities, and to reduce risk if different people conduct lessons with the same child. This includes specific and clear instructions for workers and trainers. Common sense is just not common anymore which is why we have in place documentation.
I would say if you guys haven't done it, do it, because this is not as hard as you think."
For the last eleven years, Kathy has owned the Riding Patch which is a riding school for all ages and includes riding for people with disabilities. With her small team of four, she also runs the Lower Lakes Stockman's Challenge & Bush Festival (a three day annual event with Australia-wide competitors). Both operations are unique and diverse and calls for different work health and safety requirements.