New safety resources for migrant vineyard workers

To help wine businesses manage common safety risks faced by vineyard workers, the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) has released a series of factsheets in common languages spoken by workers: English, Dari, Khmer, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

“In South Australia, 2,700 employees are directly engaged in grapegrowing work and that doesn’t include those employed via labour hire services,” said Brian Smedley, chief executive of SAWIA.

“Vineyard workers are over-represented in terms of injury rates compared to other parts of the industry.

“It is also common for vineyard workers, particularly when engaged by vineyard contractors, to be from Non-English-speaking backgrounds.

“We know safety systems aren’t effective unless people can understand them, and we hope these new resources will bridge some gaps in the industry and reduce injury rates.”

SAWIA conducted a survey in 2018 to identify language groups of vineyard workers and explore the resources that might be effective for communicating safety messages.

Responses were received from wine businesses representing all of the major wine regions.

Factsheets were developed in 2019 and cover:

  • Worker safety;
  • Managing work in extreme heat;
  • Hazardous manual tasks; and
  • Managing fatigue at work.

“The resources can be incorporated into pre-vintage induction training and contractor management systems currently in place by wine producers and wine grapegrowers,” Smedley said.

“And the factsheets will be a useful resource when discussing safety during toolbox talks or at staff meetings.”

These resources were made available by the funding provided by the South Australian Government through Primary Industries and Regions SA via the South Australian Wine Industry Development Program.

Access the factsheets here.

Wine Industry Directory Buyers’ Guide

Search the Buyers’ Guide for companies, services and brands.