Best practice OHS in saleyards*

Livestock saleyards present a unique high-risk environment in terms of Workplace Health & Safety Management.

Many councils still own and operate saleyards with a small in-house staff on site, and with most of the ‘point-of-risk’ work undertaken by people not working directly for council.

The recently harmonised Work Health and Safety Act 2011 has a direct impact on WHS management in three key areas (apart from many other secondary implications):
  1. the concept of an ‘employer’ has changed to a ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU). This means all Agents, Buyers, Sellers, transporters, etc., undertaking contracted work at a saleyard are considered PCBUs in their own right and have specific WHS duties under the legislation.
  2. the definition of a ‘Worker’ has been expanded to include an employee; a contractor/subcontractor; an employee of a contractor/subcontractor; an employee of a labour hire company assigned to work in the person’s business/undertaking; an outworker; an apprentice/trainee; a work experience student; a volunteer
  3. WHS legislation now requires PCBUs to consult, cooperate and coordinate WHS activities with workers and all other persons who have shared WHS duties.

This means all PCBUs in saleyards have a duty towards all workers. Practically, this involves councils establishing the necessary systems and processes to ensure that there is consultation, cooperation and coordination between duty holders to establish and perform their respective WHS duties, and comply with the WHS legislation.

QRMC’s services can provide reassurance to councils that saleyard WHS processes comply with the requirement of the WHS Act.

*Copy supplied by QRMC

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