28 August 2013
Australian Cane Farmers Association (ACFA) Southern Director, Michael Hetherington, has urged all harvester operators to be vigilant with workplace health and safety practices this crushing season.
Mr. Hetherington said that harvest machinery operators should be particularly vigilant regarding practices which may effect concentration such as tiredness and using mobile phones while operating machinery.
Mr. Hetherington said he was horrified at a recent incident he witnessed where a harvester was moving slowly in reverse while the operator was distracted by a mobile phone call.
“It almost led to the machine toppling over and cutting onto a public road. It’s the old story of ‘well nothing happened so nothing happened’” he said.
“Having been a harvester operator for many years, I’m intimately familiar with the distractions that affect our choices and safety.
“When a genuine call has to be made, stop, tell the boss and do it safely. If you are the boss tell the crew you have to stop for a call and they can check their machines over while you’re on the phone.”
Mr. Hetherington went on to say that some harvest operators are cutting from the early hours of the morning and want to make the most of the dry weather, but the smallest lapse in concentration can cause people to get seriously hurt.
For more information on workplace health and safety, please visit Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website; http://www.deir.qld.gov.au.
For more information, or for an interview with Michael Hetherington, please contact Amanda Sheppard on (07) 3839 1900.