Mushrooms growers will have become aware of the new national OHS laws that are being introduced that will harmonise Occupational Health and Safety legislation across Australia. These new laws are being introduced NSW and Queensland on 1st January, 2012. Other states and territories will follow on but the timing and the fine detail is still emerging.

The implications of this new legislation is far reaching and will involve a range of obligations that have to be met.

I know that the compliance level in the mushroom industry of having at least one person in the business accredited to use pesticides is high. Commonly the accreditation is a ChemCert Certifi cate. That certificate stays current for 5 years after the initial training course of 2 days and can be updated by attending a refresher.
The AMGA’s OHS advisor Philip Martin from Work Health and Safety Australia extracted the following information for us on what is required demonstrate ‘Due Diligence’ with pesticides and chemicals used in a business.

Chemical Induction, information, training and supervision

Duty to provide information training and supervision

1.     A person conducting a business or undertaking at aworkplace must provide any information, ongoing training and supervision to a worker that is necessary to

  • protect the worker from risks to the worker’s health and safety arising from the work if, at the workplace, the worker:
  • uses, handles or stores a hazardous chemical; or
  • operates, tests, maintains, repairs or decommissions a
  • handling system for a hazardous chemical; or
  • is likely to be exposed to a hazardous chemical.

2.     The person must ensure that the induction, information, ongoing training and supervision of the worker is:

  • appropriate for, and proportionate to, the risks associated with the hazardous chemical; and
  • presented in a language and form that the worker understands.

3.     The induction, ongoing training and supervision of the worker must include information in relation to the following:

  • the nature of the hazards and properties of the hazardous chemical, and any process used to identify, assess and control the risks relevant to the work carried out by the worker;
  • the use and maintenance of the measures to control the risks;
    the conduct of any monitoring or health surveillance;
  • the effective operation of the emergency plans for the workplace;
  • any procedures and equipment that may be required in an emergency;
    the proper selection, use, maintenance and storage of personal protective equipment.

4.     The person must keep a record of induction and training for at least 5 years after the induction or training is completed

For Further Information Contact: Judy Allan Telephone 02 6767 1057 or Phillip Martin Telephone 02 9636 6821