Australasian agribusiness consultancy business, Compass Agribusiness Management (Compass Agri), had a problem it couldn’t seem to solve.

The problem was its lack of success in persuading contractors working on the Australian farms it manages to sign in and out when visiting.

This caused a number of issues, chief of which was liability in the case of injury or death of the visiting worker. As well, visitors weren’t going through the appropriate health and safety induction process that is required.

Compass Agri found that when they arrived, contractors often wouldn’t take the time to locate the farm manager and inform them they were onsite. This gave the manager no opportunity to tell the contractor about potential hazards they might run across. As well, the manager had no idea how many people were on the farm at any given time or when they had left the

This all changed in 2018 when Compass Agri decided to implement Zero Harm Farm’s health and safety system on five of the dairy and crop farms it manages in Tasmania. The system makes hazard identification, sign-in and visitor inductions simple. On farm hazards are plentiful, ranging from washed out river banks, holes in fields from rock removal and rutted tanker tracks to irrigation systems needing repair, low electric wiring and moving livestock. Being unaware of these can be dangerous and, as the manager of the farms, Compass Agri could be liable should someone be hurt.

He says, “The system has removed a big barrier to contractors signing in, which was one of the biggest gaps in our systems. As soon as a contractor crosses a farm boundary we are responsible for their health and safety. This system gives us much more control. If the farm manager knows someone is coming in to do some fencing, for example, they can be met at the gate and directed to the location of the work and have explained what needs to be done.”

At the farm gate is an easily visible QR code which visitors scan with their phone on arrival and again on departure. This notifies the Zero Harm Farm system that someone is on the property.

The company also requires visitors to undergo a complete induction prior to going on to the farm. Details to access this are sent to the visitor the day before they are due to arrive and they complete the induction online. This ensures the visitor is fully aware of the farm’s health and safety policies, resulting in increased levels of compliance.

It takes visitors only 10 minutes to read and acknowledge the company’s health and safety policies but doing this induction in advance of arrival avoids delays on-site and takes care of the liability aspects.

By requiring visitors to sign out once the work is completed, the farm manager can check if the agreed time-frames have been adhered to and knows when that person is safely off the property. At the end of each farm day managers check to ensure no one is still on the property who should not be there.

Companies in the same situation as Compass Agri, needing to monitor visitors to their sites or premises, will find Zero Harm Farm quickly and easily addresses their sign-in problems.

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