Owner of YP Diggers
contacted SafeWork SA’s WHS Advisors for advice ahead of purchasing a new piece of equipment for his business. He now calls the advisors when he has questions about his WHS systems, especially before making any significant changes or improvement.
We’re now winning a lot of bigger jobs that we wouldn’t be considered for if we didn’t have safe work method statements and risk assessments in place. I know I can always ring the SafeWork SA advisors when I’m making updates in the business, to make sure I’m still on the right track.
I first gave SafeWork SA a call before I bought a new vacuum truck, to make sure I was meeting my obligations, and they put me through to their Workplace Advisory Service. I was amazed when they explained they could provide me with WHS advice and that they would travel from Adelaide to visit me on the Yorke Peninsula.
I consider myself to be a safe worker anyway, but wanted to make sure I also had the right paperwork for what I do. For me, it was just about keeping on top of my obligations. The advisors were really helpful and I never felt worried about speaking with them, they’re here to help South Australian businesses so it was a no-brainer.
When I started out I was solely working on light earth moving and landscaping, using small equipment. The business has now grown to handle bigger earthworks, drainage work and vacuum extraction. I’ve also started employing people. From doing purely domestic jobs we’re now doing a lot of commercial and civil work too. There’s a lot of WHS to think about along the way.
You’ve got to start somewhere with your WHS. It doesn’t matter if you’re not doing everything right yet, that’s exactly when you should call the advisors. I’m still getting better with WHS each day. You never stop improving.
The advisors helped me out with a lot of things in the beginning including paperwork, wearing personal protective equipment and using safety cones. We’ve got a lot more signage and safety barriers than we used to. Our machines are all serviced and well maintained and that’s documented for anyone to see.
I’ve heard some bad stories about incidents and things going wrong in other workplaces. I want to avoid that risk for me and my workers. That’s why it’s important get ahead with WHS and stop anything bad happening in the first place.
The business has been around for a while now. People will see us out working and we’ve got the correct signage and safety gear, and I think that makes us more trustworthy for future jobs.
I’ve recommended the advisors to a lot of other people. The advisors are there to help and if a potential incident can be avoided by talking to them then why wouldn’t you”.
Shane Dunstan is the owner and operator of YP Diggers, an earth moving, landscaping and vacuum excavation business located in Wallaroo. Their WHS requirements and procedures have evolved over the last 14 years as their services expanded and grew from domestic work to commercial and civil.