Media Release - Helping horticulture businesses have a safe harvest

2 February 2022
Media Release - Helping horticulture businesses have a safe harvest

Yarra Valley growers are being given the opportunity to refresh their knowledge on workplace health and safety as their harvest season moves into full swing.

WorkSafe, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and Labour Hire Authority are hosting a free online information session to help ensure farmers are aware of the latest health and safety requirements, COVID-19 employer obligations and their responsibilities towards seasonal workers.

Representatives from Agriculture Victoria and Victorian Farmers Federation will also attend to provide information on seasonal workforce support and general farm safety.

The virtual event gives growers a chance to seek advice on anything they're unsure about in a relaxed setting, whether that be how to best control OHS risks, COVID-19 isolation rules or the legal responsibilities of labour hire hosts and providers.

After the online event, inspectors and authorised officers from WorkSafe, Labour Hire Authority and the Department of Justice and Community Safety will visit local farms to conduct compliance checks and offer advice on how to tackle health and safety hazards.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said the webinar was a great opportunity for growers to brush up on safety, especially in the wake of increasing COVID-19 cases.

"The pandemic has transformed the way farms operate and, as COVID-19 regulations continue to change, the webinar is a wonderful way for duty holders to stay on top of their obligations," Dr Beer said.

"Being prepared in advance can also reduce the time required during an on-site visit."

Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner Steve Dargavel highlighted the value of these information sessions for growers and labour hire providers with this season’s harvest underway.

"Our online information session is a helpful opportunity for farmers and providers to ask any questions about their responsibilities to workers and ensure they're prepared for a possible visit."

"As labour intensive work increases, this is a timely reminder that farmers using labour hire workers must ensure they only use licenced providers," Mr Dargavel said.

The online information session is on Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 5-6pm. Register here.

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Labour Hire Authority Media: 0448 815 436 communications@labourhireauthority.vic.gov.au