Serious Accident Notification and Safety Reminder
All members and shed workers need to keep safety at the top of your priory list, given another serious shearing shed accident last week:
The incident involved a female visitor to a mid-west NSW shearing shed, who accidentally caught her hair in machinery (belt driven, overhead fixed-shaft gear). This resulted in her being ‘scalped’. The person is alive but in serious condition as a result of the accident. This event followed another serious incident last year, where an employee (woolpresser) lost the skin of both arms after having them caught in the wool press.
Although the most recent incident will not be a workers compensation claim but it certainly has the potential to be subject to a ‘negligence’ lawsuit. Past cases show that negligence would be shared by both the shearing contractor and the farmer (shearing Shed owner).
ACTIONS / REMINDERS
- Phase out old gear: Work with growers to phase out shearing sheds still using belt driven overhead fixed-shaft gear and replace them with latest ‘anti-lock’ electric plant. Legal bills will cost more than plant replacement
- Talk to Staff and visitors: Use the start of shed talks to remind staff of any dangers and the need to report problems, incidents and injuries.
- Record and Report: If you have an incident, write it in the incident section of the Tally Book and report it to your worker’s compensation regulator or agent. If unsure call the SCAA
- First Aid Person: Every job needs a first aid qualified worker. Most wool classers are qualified but you need to consider putting your regular workers through a weekend course or similar ( there are other providers but here are suggestions) https://shop.stjohn.org.au/home/w1/i2/
- No Visitors: Consider banning visitors to the workplace. This is difficult but worth being tough on. Not many other industries allow visitors.
- Insurance: Consider public liability Insurance. Approx price guide: wages under $300,000, a policy is around $770. Wages up to $1M approx. $1,000 per annum