03:01 pm, Monday 13 February, 2012
The South Australian Farmers Federation (SAFF) through its president, Peter White, said that workers, who are defined under the bill would include contractors, sub-contractors, students and volunteers in private homes, and they would be subject to occupational health and safety protection.
“You can imagine what that means for a farmer’s wife cooking meals for shearers during shearing season, said Mr White.
“The current situation has potential to negatively impact on SA’s competitiveness.
“This may be the exercise that broke the camel’s back, both administratively and economically.”
He also said that the laws were going “over the top.”
“If a contractor comes onto a farmer’s place with equipment that is not up to standard, and hurts himself, the farmer would be partly responsible.
“This means a shearer who brings in a faulty handset and injures himself would make the farmer liable and we don’t see why farmers should be responsible.”
He also criticised the State Government for not conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the laws before passing them through a parliament.
Stock Journal reports that if adopted in South Australia, domestic premises including farmhouse kitchens could be included as workplaces, making owners potentially responsible for the occupational health and safety of their family.
A debate on South Australia’s Work Health and Safety Bill version will happen this week. A debate on this was adjourned in May.
Stock Journal further reports that farmers would be liable for up to $600,000 or an imprisonment of up to five years for reckless act exposing a person to injury or death under the bill, or between $100,000 for failing to follow with OH&S. They will have to pay $300,000 if the failure results to injury or death.