New safety initiative sees competitors band together

A SERIOUS workplace accident has prompted leading independent research company AgXtra to establish a new safety initiative uniting independent agriculture research entities.

AgXtra Managing Director Richard Porter said the Trialsafe campaign was the result of a serious accident to one of their employees in November last year. Wagga Wagga, New South Wales-based employee Stephanie Lunn had been pinned against some equipment by a header after it freakishly started in reverse.

“It would have been inappropriate and disrespectful to Steph if we had not come up with a response to what she had gone through, so something good has to come from it,” he said.

The initiative will see representatives from the agricultural research industry meet twice annually to discuss any workplace incidents or accidents and to share positive stories around their own workplace safety initiatives.

Although the events will be non-exclusive, event planning will involve staff from companies such as AgXtra, Kalyx, Peracto, Living Farm, as well as clients such as AGT, Adama and InterGrain.

“Our aim is to promote the safe and considerate conduct of the agriculture research industry and to bring together otherwise competitive entities, from around the country, into one forum,” Mr Porter said.

“We want to be able to share our positive and negative experiences with regards to safety and worker wellbeing and take away the lessons learnt so we can all benefit from our near misses and accidents.

“We want staff to share their day-to-day experiences and see it is an opportunity for them to present to their peers and develop their own professional skills while sharing safety outcomes.”

Richard said the two seminars each year would not be focused on occupational health and safety legislation or compliance but would rather invite presenters to share their experiences. This would include a representative from the oil and gas industry in the first meeting, Mr David Maggiori, who has been involved with the DrillSafe campaign.

The first forum is scheduled for October. Further information is available by emailing info@trialsafe.com.au or visiting www.trialsafe.com.au.