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Changes to Health and Safety Reform Bill are sensible

22 July 2015

Changes to Health and Safety Reform Bill are sensible

Federated Farmers believe the two month delay in the Select Committee reporting back the Health and Safety Reform Bill to Parliament has led to improvements for the farming industry.

The Bill has been reported back today.

Federated Farmers health and safety spokesperson Katie Milne says the Bill overall will make farms safer places.

Specifically she says the Bill has gone some way to recognising that farms are different to urban industrial workplaces.

“Farms are not construction sites but with lots of grass and animals. They are also where people live and use for recreation. We are pleased the Government has signaled a Supplementary Order Paper to acknowledge this. It will make clear that a farmer’s home is not a workplace. Ideally, it should include other farm accommodation as well.”

“We also didn’t want to have a risk imposed on us for people who come onto our properties without our knowledge and have an accident. They parliamentarians have listened to us and the Bill puts the responsibility on recreational users back to those people where it should be,” Katie Milne says.

Federated Farmers will be studying the Bill for the fine print, but Katie Milne says she’s already identified ambiguity and problems with responsibilities and liabilities for a Person Controlling a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).

“The Bill still hasn’t sorted the overlaps of more than one PCBU on a farm, where for instance, a farmer and a contractor are both working.”

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