Take a second
January 2022

Dear Subscribers,

You will notice that the newsletter is now called ‘Take a second’ – the time we use to change the future with knowledge and our actions. Feel free to forward this newsletter and encourage others to sign up here.

In this edition, we introduce Ian, our new Farm Safety Advisor, look at protection from heat and UV, updates on COVID-19 testing requirements and support payments and forward planning.

We are also pleased to share that the new Farm Safety Advisory Program website is live. 

Kind regards,

Charles and Ian

Working in heat

As we approach the end of January we start to feel the suns bite, with temperatures approaching 40 degrees in parts of the State, it is important to have effective procedures to protect ourselves and staff from the effects of heat.

What are some of the common effects of working in heat?

Working in heat can be hazardous and can cause harm to workers. The human body needs to maintain a body temperature of approximately 37 degrees Celsius.
If the body has to work too hard to keep cool or starts to overheat, a worker can suffer from a heat-related illness. This is a general term to describe a range of progressive heat-related conditions including fainting, heat rash, heat cramps and heat stroke. 

Some common effects of working in heat include:
  • Heat rash, leading to skin irritation and discomfort.
  • Heat cramps resulting from heavy sweating without replacing salt and electrolytes.
  • Fainting, particularly when workers stand or rise from a sitting position.
  • Dehydration from increased sweating if workers aren’t drinking enough water.
  • Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself. This can be fatal.
  • Burns can occur if a worker comes into contact with hot surfaces or tools.
  • Slips, as a worker will sweat more in hot conditions which can increase the risk of slips - for example, a worker might slip when using sharp tools if their hands are damp.
  • Reduced concentration, as heat can make it more difficult to concentrate, leading to confusion. This means workers may be more likely to make mistakes, such as forgetting to guard machinery. 
  • Increased chemical uptake into the body may occur as the heat causes the body to absorb chemicals differently and can increase the side effects of some medications.
Click here to read the full SafeWork NSW guide for managing the risks of working in heat. 

Contact us at [email protected] to discuss how your business can develop and implement effective procedures to make the summer safer.

UV radiation 

Do you know that 95% of skin cancers are caused by UV radiation? Even so, UV radiation isn’t connected to sunshine or heat, therefore it can be difficult to ascertain your UV exposure without intentional monitoring.  
The good news is skin cancer is highly preventable. The NSW Farm Safety Advisory Program strongly promotes the five ways to protect yourself from UV exposure:

SLIP – on a shirt – preferably long-sleeved with a SPF rating of 50

SLOP – on sunscreen every 4 hours (or as directed by the label)

SLAP – on a hat with a brim or flap to provide cover to your ears and neck as well as your

SEEK – shade whenever possible

SLIDE – on sunglasses

For more information follow the link to NSW Cancer Council here

Annual business Calendar of Operations

2021 has again shown the importance of planning, if our business is in a situation of continually making decisions “on the fly” and the decision maker is not available for any reason, the ability of the business to adapt quickly is greatly reduced perhaps missing opportunities or profit, or placing staff at risk of injury.

As we plan the years expected activities it is a good time to gain input from staff to see where improvements can be made, this can then be taken into account in your health and safety action plan.
Contact us by email at [email protected]  to discuss how your business can develop and implement effective policies and procedures such as a health and safety action plan. 

COVID-19 Information Update (current 24 January 2022)

Here is some important Covid – 19 information regarding testing, isolation and support payment eligibility current as of 24 January 2022. 

What to do when there is a confirmed positive case in the workplace?
If a worker tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to self-isolate immediately for 7 days from the day they were tested, and not leave home or let anyone come into their home unless they live there. A negative PCR (nose and throat swab) or rapid antigen test is not needed to leave isolation and return to work. If they have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath after 7 days, they must remain in isolation until 24 hours after their symptoms have resolved. People should wear a mask when near or talking to others, and avoid visiting high risk settings (health care, aged care, disability care or correctional facilities) for a further 3 days. To see the latest update from the NSW Government on COVID-19, please click here

Self-isolation exemption for workers in critical food supply sectors
Farm workers involved in food production who are close contacts of a positive case are permitted to leave self-isolation to attend work, granted they have no COVID-19 symptoms and present a negative RAT result daily for 7 days. For more information on the exemption of critical workers, click here

Available support payments for individuals
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment – a payment of $750 is available to eligible individuals for each 7 day period of being told to self-isolate or quarantine or caring for someone who has COVID-19. To be eligible, the individual must be unable to work and earn income, have no paid leave entitlements, have been told by NSW Health to self-isolate, be at least 17 years of age and have work rights in Australia. View full details here.

Test and Isolate support payment – a payment of $320 is available for eligible individuals who are waiting for their COVID-19 PCR test result due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. View full details here.

Positive rapid antigen test results must be registered with Service NSW
All individuals with a positive COVID-19 RAT result must register it with Service NSW. Click here for further information on how to register a positive RAT result and access the registration portal. 

Save this link for regular updates on COVID-19:  https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/stay-safe/rules/people-in-nsw

Meet Ian, Farm Safety Advisor

“Having spent over 25 years working in corporate agribusiness across the agricultural value chain, Ian now operates his own farming and grazing property in Central West NSW which includes both winter crop and cattle production. Ian is passionate about Australian agriculture, and the families and communities that prosper from its continual growth and success. Ian is also intimately aware of the risks it presents with regards to safety and wellbeing, and looks forward to working closely with producers in both identifying and mitigating these challenges in their farming businesses”. Ian holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture), MBA and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Ian is available to attend meetings both on and off farm as required and can be contacted by email: [email protected] or by phone: 0437 344 741.

Our website www.nswfarmsafety.org.au is now live and includes the past editions of Take a Second along with more resources and easy links to contact us. A WHS resource library is under construction where you will find useful templates and resources. We look forward to seeing you there.

You can also find us on Facebook here, please follow us as we will be regularly posting and sharing news, events and resources. 

Get involved

  • Take a second and share this newsletter with your networks.
  • Become a subscriber to “Take a Second” – click here 
  • To contact a Farm Safety Advisor for free advisory service:
Our mailing address is:
NSW Farmers' Association
L4 154 Pacific Hwy St Leonards
1300 794 000 | [email protected]