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Shearing safety summit to tackle drugs and alcohol in sheds

A Summit will be convened in Adelaide on 24 May to bring together wool industry stakeholders to address the issue of drug and alcohol use in shearing sheds.

The Summit will host a range of speakers from across the Wool Industry who will present and invite discussion on drug and alcohol use in the industry.

The Summit arises out of ongoing work by the Wool Industry Stakeholder Reference Group to address concerns raised about the impact of drug and alcohol use on work health and safety and reputation in the industry. The Stakeholder Reference Group consists of:

  • The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF);
  • The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU);
  • The Shearing Contractors Association of Australia (SCAA);
  • WoolProducers Australia (WPA);
  • The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX); and
  • The AW Shearing Industry Association (WASIA).

The group was formed to support farmers, contractors and workers when responding to reports of workplace health and safety risks involving alcohol and drugs through the development of practical guidance materials. The ultimate aim being to protect the farmer, the shearing contractor and the employee from safety issues that arise when someone turns up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Summit is an opportunity for the group to bring together the broader wool industry, present our work to date and facilitate feedback. As a first step, the group has developed a poster that provides practical guidance to all persons working in the industry on what their role and responsibility is in ensuring a safe workplace.

Following on from this, the group is developing a policy for managing drug and alcohol use in the workplace that will be presented at the Summit. The remoteness of many properties on which shearing is conducted, combined with the multi-layer structure of the workforce can create confusion around who has responsibility for enforcement, who bears costs and who carries liability. The development of a policy to address this will provide important guidance for all parties to the shearing operation and is a tool that property owners and contractors can utilise to address concerns.

Keen to attend? Download the flyer here to get all the details.

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