CAN the Government justify asking farmers to record their activities every ten minutes in a bid to increase road safety, considering the actual amount of public road driving undertaken and the seasonality of their work?
Farmers have been classified as commercial drivers under the State Government’s draft Code of Practice on Fatigue Management for Commercial Vehicle Drivers, requiring detailed reporting of activities.
Commercial drivers will be required to record all work, non-work and break times in a bid to increase road safety.
Primary producers are classified as commercial drivers, long distance drivers and operators of commercial but they do not drive on the public road network.
We have a case where farmers will be caught in the Government’s fishing net or regulation.
A code that may be appropriate for the commercial transport industry is certainly not appropriate for a farmer who only carts grain once a year during an extremely narrow time period.
WAFarmers has prepared a submission for WorkSafe on the draft code of practices that recommends the farm sector be exempted from these requirements due to the seasonal nature of the industry.
The farming community shares the Government’s concerns regarding road safety and is active in its attempts to reduce road trauma.
But we need to be realistic.
WAFarmers believes an alternative set of requirements should be developed that suit the farming sector and looks forward to working with the Government to achieve an appropriate framework.
– Ross Hardwick
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