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New tools to help red meat producers run safe and productive farms 20 Jul 2016

In the five-year period 2008-2013, injuries in the beef sector cost the industry over $91 million, which is significantly higher than any other agricultural sector in Australia.1

In order to reduce this figure, new online resources have been developed that will help ensure Australian red meat producers are safer and, as a result, more productive.

The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP), which is co-funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), has created a series of comprehensive and easy to understand online safety manuals, launched today as part of National Farm Safety Week.

The manuals have been developed in consultation with hundreds of livestock producers from around Australia.

With the theme of this year’s week being Safe Farms = Profit, MLA’s General Manager of Livestock Productivity, Jane Weatherley says that safety and productivity go hand in hand.

"On farm safety should be a leading priority for red meat producers. Safe farms are more productive, optimising the potential for profitability. It therefore makes good business sense for livestock producers to have the most effective work health and safety (WHS) plans in place to protect the well-being of everyone," she said.

"The challenge has been where producers can go to easily access the latest information and advice.

"These new online resources launched by the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) offer practical tools such as checklists, templates and guidelines to help producers plan and implement best practice on-farm health and safety initiatives.

"At MLA we collaborate in a wide range of programs and projects that offer tangible benefits for producers - not only to help improve profitability but also to build the leadership capability of the red meat industry as a whole. The PIHSP is a really important initiative that we are really pleased to support."

PIHSP Advisory Committee chairman Gordon Gregory said the online manuals are designed to help producers take the guesswork out of developing WHS plans.

"The online series can be best summed up as a one-stop shop for on-farm health and safety, that will help livestock producers build an effective WHS plan," he said.

"We realise that every farm is different, so producers should adapt the templates to suit their respective operations."

The goal of the PIHSP is to improve the health and safety of workers and their families in farming industries across Australia. It is funded by MLA, the Australian Meat Processor Corporation and the Cotton, Grains and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations.

For more information about PIHSP, visit www.rirdc.gov.au/PIHSP  

To download the online manuals, visit the MLA website at: http://www.mla.com.au/WHS

Ends

Media contact: James Tolmie – 0439 991 082

The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) is funded by the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC), Cotton Research & Development Corporation (CRDC), Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC), Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC). The PIHSP aims to drive sustainable improvements to work health and safety outcomes in agriculture, forestry and fishing through investment in RD&E.

1 Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (2016) Your Guide to Improving Beef Production Safety. Accessed 18 July 2016 at: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/research-programs/rural-people-issues/primary-industries-health-and-safety-partnership/pihsp-whs-manuals