Get the bike, Get the helmet!

July 2008


Who: Chris and Charmaine Bagot
Where: Jindivick, west Gippsland
What: 100 effective hectares, DeLaval 20 double-up with cup removers and autowash system, 350 cows.
  • Take safety obligations seriously
  • Train staff about safety
  • Provide safety equipment
  • Develop and enforce safety policies
  • Safety policies apply to everyone on the farm

Providing a safe work environment is an extremely important component of the dairy business run by Chris and Charmaine Bagot of Jindivick in West Gippsland.

The couple own a 350-cow farm with 1 full time and 1 part time employee and they take their safety obligations very seriously.

“Our staff have completed first aid training, chainsaw safety and a chemical user’s course,” Mr Bagot said.

“We carry a small first-aid kit on the bike along with a snakebite bandage. When chain-sawing we insist on wearing eye and ear protection as well as ‘chaps’ to protect our legs. Our wet weather gear is high visibility and keeping the shed and yards clean and tidy, reduces the chances of slipping.”

The Bagots are also leading the way with farm safety by enforcing a helmet policy that applies to everyone on the farm, including family. Mr Bagot said the ‘get the bike, get the helmet’ policy was introduced with no apprehension at all, it actually became second nature.

The only difficulty at first was finding a helmet suitable for a dairy farm “but then I visited a friend in Tasmania who had the same policy. His policy was ‘no helmet, no company bike’. It was from his farm whereby we decided to implement the helmet idea. He gave me the details of the particular helmet they were using and our local motorbike dealer got them in for us. It is not too heavy and it doesn’t cover your ears. You actually forget that you are wearing it most of the time. When changing fences etc, it just stays on.”

For the Bagots the advantages of ensuring a safe working environment includes giving them the peace of mind that they are providing a duty of care to their employees. They regularly attend WorkSafe seminars and they keep safety at the forefront of their minds.

“We’re in the process of getting all our small power tools tested and tagged and changing our setup in the dairy so that milk will be pumped from the pit to the calf shed so there will be no heavy lifting of milk into calf feeders,” Mr Bagot said. 

Safety checklist

To do a safety check on your farm start with the safety checklist