We all want to keep people safe on our farms which means when it comes to contractors, we need to talk to them about how they’ll get the job done safely before they start any work on our properties.

Managing risks, dangers and hazards is as simple as having a quick chat with your contractor by phone or email, through the vehicle window when they arrive or through an app. Give them a map of your property with any hazards and ‘no-go’ areas properly marked out.  

The most important thing is actually having that discussion and also keeping a record of what was talked about, just in case anything goes wrong.

It’s basic day to day stuff that can be easily looked over – but it shouldn’t be.

Times have changed. It’s no longer good enough to be unaware of when a contractor is on your property or question whether or not they’ve been and gone.

As a property owner or farm manager, you have a legal obligation to manage risks safely for your contractors, because YOU could be liable for an accident injury or death on your property.

Sharemilkers, contract milkers and farm managers should also keep the landowner informed too.

Regulations state that any business engaging with others, needs to consider what influence or control it has in relation to health and safety.

This also includes what influence or direction you may have over other business’s employees working at your location.

As the farm operator it is your responsibility to tell your contractor what risks they may face on your property and update them daily if there is any change.

Just like your own employee or employees, contractors too need the tools and knowledge to get the job done safely.

Even if they’ve worked on your farm before or have years of experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be aware of any risks.

Let your contractor know about the new fences or waterways, or that your children are home for the holidays and zooming around, or your worker is moving stock over there, or even how there’s been heavy rain and that one paddock is really boggy.

It’s as simple as “ready, set, go!” GRAPHIC

It doesn’t have to be complicated; it comes down to working together to make sure everyone is on the same page, knows what’s going on and that the job can be done safely and efficiently.

At the end of the day if something does go wrong, you are in control of how a contractor might answer the investigator’s question; “was there anything else the farm operator could’ve done to prevent this from happening?”

What would you want them to say?