A health and safety system that supports communication
Located in Australia between Mildura, Victoria, and Wentworth, New South Wales, the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens Inc (AIBG) is known for being the first semi-arid botanic garden in the Southern Hemisphere. Its mission is to display flora from around the global in one location, bringing together its community along with tourism, education and conservation.
Brian Cuddy is the Coordinator at AIBG, with his team covering the 124 acres of gardens. The AIBG relies on a collaboration between staff and volunteers for their industry knowledge, experience, and hard work. These staff and 120 volunteers are spread out across the site and roles range from assisting in grounds keeping, maintenance, tours (some via tractor), running the gift and coffee shop, as well as events such as weddings.
With 120 volunteers providing an estimated 12,000 hours’ worth of support each year, AIBG found Safe Ag Systems several months ago after one of those volunteers attended an agricultural field day.
What first attracted AIBG to the Safe Ag Systems was the ability to create and send inductions prior to volunteers, visitors and workers arriving on site. Brian from AIBG states that this volunteer, “…thought that some of the features such as the Worker Inductions or the Ensuring a Safe Workplace would be beneficial to us and he was right.”
Brian notes that Safe Ag Systems provided him and the team one simple format, all accessible in one location. Why was that so helpful? AIBG is a volunteer run community venture and from time to time there is a change of board members, staff and volunteers. With this challenge in mind, its important to ensure clear and consistent communications across the various stakeholders and as Brian states, “…this system binds all the important information together in the one place.”
Finally discovering a health and safety system that supports communication with volunteers, AIBG started digitizing their policies and procedures. With policies and Safe Work Procedures now available on the Safe Ag Systems mobile App, workers and volunteers can read them at any time that they are required. “Not only has this been beneficial, but the ease of access and the adaptability of all parts of the program have helped us immensely.”
Are you looking to start your safety system set up, but unsure where to start? Safe Ag Systems offers over 50 agricultural-specific policy templates and another 200 Safe Work Procedures for you to choose from or utilise your own. You can create, edit and sign off your company policies and make them available for workers or volunteers to access.
Speaking of ease-of-use, Brian highlights the simplicity of the Safety Checklist feature both in regard to set up as well as checking they are being performed, “I have created Checklists for each different Volunteer Group (who can be spread throughout the 124 acres of gardens) so they can be signed off each day they attend and with the smallest amount of time needed.”
Safe Ag Systems comes with over 150 pre-operational checklists suitable for agriculture that can be added to each piece of machinery, equipment, tools, and structures within your inventory management. Any member of Brian’s team can complete a checklist, in turn freeing up valuable time without having to rely on one person.
AIBG have also been able to assign and track tasks as well as identify, communicate, and fix any issues or hazards quickly. Previously tasks were to be reported, often with staff trying to locate Brian on site and losing valuable work time. Instead, these tasks can now be reported in the Task Manager feature by logging in to the App and filling in a task report. Brian said, “Tasks can now be prioritised in order of urgency in a matter of seconds.”
Other than providing a tool for clear communication, inventory management and supporting health and safety for workers as well as volunteers, Brian’s feedback for those considering trialing Safe Ag Systems, “It’s simple, effective and a joy to work on and the support network is simply amazing.”
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Originally published 01 July, 2021.