Trainers Can Be Fined up to $1m for Breaches of Occupational Health & Safety Regulations / 03 Apr, 2009

Most trainers will be aware of increasing attention being given to safety in the racing industry through the effect enforcement of safe practices has had on their activities. Non-availability of tracks due to restricted visibility, or cancellation of races due to high temperatures, are examples.

WorkSafe Victoria some years ago targeted the racing industry as one in serious need of improvement and worked in consultation with all sectors of the industry to develop guidelines to achieve that.

Two key programmes resulted. Racesafe - aimed at improving practices & the work environment at tracks, and Stablesafe - aimed at achieving the same objectives in trainers’ workplaces.

To help trainers understand & comply with their legal obligations, Racing Victoria Limited arranged for toolkits to be distributed along with the appointment of Project Officers to explain the legal requirements and help trainers to identify where action needed to be taken. This is a free service not available in many other industries!!!

At a recent meeting, Worksafe expressed concern that in Febuary there had been five serious incidents reported, involving severe injuries to trainers employees, some of which will be permanent or require years of medical treatment.

The Australian Workers Union has recently established the Stable Employees Association in Victoria to represent your employees, with a focus on compliance with Occupational Health and Safety, working conditions, rules and regulations.

We urge all trainers to make themselves aware of their obligations as an employer, utilise the information available on the WorkSafe Victoria (or equivalent in your state or territory) website and listen to and ACT on the information provided by the Stablesafe toolkit.

Worksafe may be prosecuting trainers if serious breaches of regulations are found.

As the Bushfire advice says, “when you can see the flames, it’s too late to run !!”.