7 min read

SAFETY ADVISOR

A Safety Management System made for Agriculture.

Choosing a safety management system can be an overwhelming task, especially when there are so many options available to your agribusiness. Narrowing the options down, there are two categories; safety management systems that claim to cater to everyone or industry specific systems that are made exclusive for agriculture.

Farms present a range of hazards that other industries might encounter and others that are distinctly agricultural hazards. Some of the wide range of hazards farmers face include plant and equipment, chemicals, working with animals, environmental factors such as noise or exposure to the elements.

It is scary to imagine facing all of these hazards whilst also working in remote areas alone. Farms are unique as it is not just a workplace, it is often a home and on occasion those lines can become blurred. This adds to the level of concern when it is not just the workers you need to be aware of and communicate to, it includes the visitors, the contractors, family who live onsite.

Implementing a safety management system where the people behind the software have a mission and passion to positively impact your industry should be a serious part of the decision-making process. Search for a product that understands the industry and not just the hazards.

Just in case you are unsure of what a safety system is:

A safety management system is defined as a systematic approach to managing safety. It should document your policies, safe work procedures, emergency procedures, record keeping supporting compliance and more. To read more about what a safety Management System should include head to our page on how you can manage safety in agriculture.

Client - Brian Cuddy - AIBG

Benefits to health and safety when using industry specific tools.

The first and biggest benefit of using industry specific software like Safe Ag Systems, is that the people who have designed and developed the software understand your needs, they really understand your business’s pain points, barriers, operational factors, and reporting requirements.

An agricultural specific solution is created to help keep your agribusiness running as efficiently and effectively as possible through streamlining health and safety management. A safety system that has been created for your industry will most certainly focus on developing and improving the features and functionality that support you meet your legal obligations. It’s as if these features have been built for you and that’s because they have.

Why spend time and money on a tool that does not support you?

Generic health and safety management systems may offer an array of features, but you will find yourself adjusting business practices to make them work. If you do your research, test and trial agricultural specific products, you will find the software moulds to your agribusiness requirements. How many general safety management systems can offer you premade policies and procedures for your John Deere tractor or your combine harvester? Do they offer hazard mapping for your farm and emergency features that alert your workers at the touch of a button?

Industry specific safety management systems provide answers to your problems, but they also include features to combat issue you did not know you had. And why is that? Ag industry specific software developers know what features will benefit you since they are in tune with the agricultural industry. They work with farmers; they take feedback on board and they let their users shape their product development.

Chalmers Wines - 1

Image Credit: Chalmers Wine Instagram

An aim of your agtech software developer is to make your daily tasks around the farm are easier. Their safety systems should integrate into your workplace almost seamlessly. Yes, adopting a new process takes time, but imagine the turnaround time when you introduce a product that uses terminology and formats you recognize opposed to a product that applies generic jargon and a format that just doesn’t quite fit your requirements. After a short adjustment period, you should be left wondering how you ever got on without it. This is due to a knowledge of how your workers function daily, it is the experience with industry procedures and operations.

Since the team behind industry specific software build their products with the end user (that’s you) in mind, the software is almost always presented with a sense of familiarity. They speak your language, the same as their client experience and support team. When you reach out at the moment you need guidance, their client support team should be able to address your query as soon as possible. You will find with Safe Ag Systems our client support team are backed by a wealth of industry knowledge with staff members that are also tuned into industry changes and demands.

Chalmers Wines - 2

Image Credit: Chalmers Wine Instagram

Did you know that industry specific software should give you the ability to grow your operations with ease? The downside of generic safety systems is that they can become a disadvantage, offering functions and features that are not specific enough to your operations, resulting in the need to purchase more than one piece of software to manage different areas of your record keeping. In the long run you may find yourself out of pocket with siloed data and systems that cannot talk to each other.

Safe Ag Systems allows agribusinesses the ability to grow. For example, you may subscribe to a Standard Plan only to discover two weeks down the track you need to add more users. With Safe Ag Systems you can add a user or upgrade to a Professional Plan for more functionality!

Does your safety system support compliance with regulatory requirements?

Since compliance and record keeping in farming is an important part of a functioning business, agricultural specific software should be built to promote best practices amongst the industry. Complying with regulations does not just protect your workers, it protects your business and your reputation. An industry specific safety system should guide you and provide you with the tools to stay compliant with the applicable laws, organization standards, codes and frameworks in your industry and country.

Benefit from the data

Have you stepped back for a moment and pondered what makes you different from your competitors? We know farming is a unique industry, you don’t win contracts with gimmicks or increase profits by throwing a 24-hour sale, but what does make you different is your business ethics and safety practices. Implementing a functioning and supportive safety system acts as evidence to your supply chain, but it also provides your team with the data to make decisions. Making small changes that gradually become every day routine can help your team become more productive, reduce human error and start generating accurate results.

So, what are you waiting for? In case you have not heard it before, pain of staying the same can be greater than the pain of change.

Topics: Safety Management System

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Disclaimer: Content on this website may be of relevance to users outside of Australia, but content links and examples are specific to Australia. Please check with your local authority for your country and industry requirements.

Originally published 28 May, 2021.

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