Controlling chemical risks on the farm

When it comes to using chemicals on the farm, it is important to identify and control the risks to you and your workers’ safety.

A key part of this is making sure that you conduct regular review of the chemicals used on the farm.

This means you need to:

  • Keep a written register of all hazardous chemicals used or stored on your farm
  • Provide access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to all workers who handle hazardous chemicals. Make sure they’re read by anyone using hazardous chemicals
  • Use the SDS to identify hazards and potential health risks associated with the chemicals used or stored on your farm
  • Conduct regular ‘walkthroughs’ to identify any potential exposure risks
  • Implement safety measures to reduce the risk of exposureto hazardous chemicals.

Once you have identified the risks, you should control these risks. This involves:

  • Reviewing any alternatives to chemicals, such as cultivation and grazing
  • Determining if there are less hazardous chemicals suitable to use
  • Develop Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)by talking with all workers who handle hazardous chemicals
  • Training all workers who handle hazardous chemicals appropriately
  • Providing adequate supervision and instructions to your workers
  • Ensuring all personal protective equipment (PPE) such as coveralls, gloves and goggles are in good condition
  • Monitor the effectiveness of all the safety systems you have put in place.

Through the constant monitoring of the safety system you’ve put in place, you can make sure that you and your workers are safe from any chemical injuries on your farm.

Did you know that the chemical classification and labelling requirements are changing? Find out more about what you need to do before the 31 December 2016 deadline here.