Co-owner and Director at Thornby Premium Lamb
got in touch with SafeWork SA for advice to ensure their WHS policies were keeping pace with their rapidly expanding business.
It’s reassuring to know I can shoot an email to the WHS Advisors whenever I have a question. Our family’s farming business is constantly evolving and the advisors are there to help make sure we’re on the right track each time we expand.
We first heard about SafeWork SA’s free Workplace Advisory Service when one of their advisors presented at a regional training day. We decided to get them out for a visit just to see where we were sitting as far as our safety. Speaking to the advisor beforehand, we knew we weren’t going to get in trouble by having them come to the farm – they’re here to support workplaces.
For us, inviting SafeWork SA in was about getting on the front foot and asking them if and how we could improve our WHS.
In the past four years we’ve grown from having two or three employees to now being a team of 18 spread across two separate properties. It’s crucial that everyone is operating safely. We don’t want anyone getting injured – our employees are also our friends and family.
Our employees all know they can chat to us about any risks they identify around the farm and we’ll listen to them. We’ll also chat to them about their thoughts and solutions on risks because they might have an idea that we might have missed.
WHS doesn’t have to be hard. If you overcomplicate it then people just switch off.
Now we keep it simple and we even film procedures on our phones to show our employees how to safely complete a task. It’s quick and we just upload the videos somewhere that all our guys can watch them. Of course we also do one on one training upfront to make sure people know what to do. The video procedures are a great reminder for everyone and were a really good suggestion of the advisors.
Having WHS policies and procedures in place means that all our information is set out and easy to access. It also makes it clear to anyone setting foot on our properties that safety is of the highest importance to us. Farms are specialised worksites and we can’t assume people will just know what to do. Everyone comes here with different levels of knowledge.
When it comes to safety, we take nothing for granted.
The advisors gave us peace of mind and made sure we hadn’t missed anything obvious. We’re here every day so there were things we may not have even thought about it and it was good to have fresh eyes.
I’d tell other farmers not to be scared to contact the SafeWork SA Workplace Advisory Service. Be proactive and get them out to help, you’ll be glad you did”.
Paul McGorman is the co-owner and Director 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 includes cereal cropping predominantly for lamb feeding and a breeding property on Kangaroo Island, it’s important their WHS policies and procedures are relevant and kept up-to-date for their growing operations.