Agriculture Sector Action Plan to 2013
4. A word about the Occupational Health Action Plan
This sector action plan has two priority areas that aim to improve the occupational health of farm workers: animal handling (specifically diseases transmitted by animals); and the physical/mental health and wellbeing of agricultural workers.
However, the Occupational Health Action Plan (that spans across all industries) presents further opportunities for the agriculture sector to improve occupational health outcomes.
The main priority area in the Occupational Health Action Plan is reducing the exposure of workers to five known health hazards:
- cancer-causing agents in the workplace
- respiratory hazards
- skin irritants, and
- psycho-social hazards.
These health hazards exist in many agricultural workplaces, and this is reflected in the actions of the Occupational Health Action Plan.
- action 3.11 of that plan outlines work that ACC are planning in the agriculture sector to reduce noise-induced hearing loss among farmers, with their ‘noise at source’ initiatives focused on quad bikes, tractors and shearing sheds/equipment; and
- action 3.15 is about the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) providing easy-to-understand information to small businesses (including farms) about how to work with chemicals safely and comply with hazardous substances legislation.