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National farm machinery inspection program in progress

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said that the safety checks had resulted in a high level of interest and improved awareness in relation to the safety requirements for farm machinery. “As part of the national campaign, WorkSafe inspectors have so far conducted around 60 audits of manufacturers and dealers, and report a high level of cooperation and compliance,” Lyhne said. “These safety requirements are certainly nothing new – they have been in place since 1988. “Dealers and manufacturers were given plenty of warning about the audits, and were informed in advance of what our inspectors would be looking for and what they needed to do to comply with the requirements. “A mailout was conducted back in July to let manufacturers and dealers know exactly what was required for compliance, and many also attended a series of seminars held across the State in August. “A total of 355 information packs were sent out to everyone in the State listed as a manufacturer or dealer of farm machinery, so we feel that the education phase of the campaign was very strong. “As a consequence, WorkSafe inspectors have found that the majority of manufacturers and dealers were well acquainted with the requirements and the level of cooperation has been very high. “WorkSafe has been very keen to workshop issues and find solutions in consultation with the industry,” she said. A workshop was held last week involving representatives from WorkSafe, WA Farmers Federation, Pastoralists and Graziers Association, Farm Machinery Dealers Association and the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia to discuss any issues that had arisen during the course of the program. Lyhne said WorkSafe considered this meeting to be valuable in resolving some issues that had been raised by the farming community. “We agreed that for the remaining part of this campaign, inspectors will telephone ahead and make appointments with dealers and manufacturers to give them the opportunity to be present for the inspections so they can discuss any issues with the inspector,” she said. “We also made it clear that our inspectors are more than willing to explain anything in notices that dealers and manufacturers do not understand, and to liaise with importers and others if required. “We are also happy to consider extending the compliance date on improvement notices if there is a genuine problem in complying within the required time period. “The aim of this national campaign is to ensure a consistent approach to farm machinery safety across the country, and all States are in regular contact to ensure that this is the case. “A couple of important machinery safety issues have already been identified, and one in particular has resulted in immediate action by a global machinery manufacturer. “The manufacturer has initiated a recall of a series of tractors in Australia and New Zealand to correct a problem with a guard, an issue that was identified during the course of this inspection program. “The response has largely been positive, and we are consulting with industry to work through the issues that have been brought to our attention.”

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WID 2017