Loading ramp standard needs feedback

Loading ramp standard needs feedback

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DANGER: Proposed new Australian standards for livestock loading races and forcing pens are aimed at reducing death and injury on farms.

DANGER: Proposed new Australian standards for livestock loading races and forcing pens are aimed at reducing death and injury on farms.

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The exclusion of humans from forcing yards and loading races is a key aim of draft loading ramp standards.

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Priority number one is the safety and health of users when determining a standard for livestock loading ramps.

The recent death of a man loading livestock on a property in Gippsland added further impetus to the need for the development of an Australian Standard for loading facilities, according to VFF Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance.

Mr Vallance said the forcing pens and loading races of livestock yards on farms were the second most dangerous areas on farms, after quad bikes.

He said the primary driver behind obtaining a standard was the health and safety of producers, their employees, transport operators and stock agents.

The main areas for concern was the forcing pen area and loading ramps.

"The main aim of the standard is to eliminate the need for humans to enter those areas while livestock are present," he said.

"They are the most dangerous part of the cattle yards.

"There has to be a cultural change on farms where most of these accidents occur where people are loading stock on their own. It's a two-man job. Either that or you need a spotter or safety person there."

He said the industry wanted a single document that people could go to and know what they needed to have in new ramps.

Other areas covered included truck access. He said people needed to adjust their facilities according to the changes in truck size.

He said the industry wanted feedback from producers, manufacturers, transport operators, processors and agents on the draft standards.

The VFF had a survey on its website so that people could provide their feedback, he said.

To conduct the survey and view the draft Australian Standard go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TM8M6NX

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