Safe Ag Systems

31 Aug 2017

Helping to make safety a priority for agribusinesses

When people are crowding into the front bar of the country pub or cramming into a neighbour’s shearing shed to hear what you have to say, you know you have an offer of importance. Such is the case for Katy Landt, CEO and co-founder of Safe Ag Systems.

Offering a simple, intuitive cloud-based piece of software for agribusinesses to use to develop and maintain a work health and safety (WHS) system, Safe Ag Systems came into being after Ms Landt’s father had a ‘near-miss’ on the family grain farm, situated on the Yorke Peninsula.

“After the event, my mother started looking into safety compliance and realised that as an agribusiness, we were a long way from what the legislation required,” said Ms Landt.

The 2012 harmonised WHS legislation states a business must use an active safe system of work. ABARES estimates that less than 1% of Australian agribusinesses meet this requirement.

“In Australia there are around 156,000 agribusinesses, and around 90,000 of them are ‘mum and dad’ operations, many of which are not aware of their legislative requirements for WHS,” explained Ms Landt. “Those who are aware of the legislation find, in searching for a solution, the systems are only suited to much larger operations, rather than a small farming business.”

The software, which uses both desktop and mobile applications, focuses on educating farmers about their obligations, and introducing WHS requirements so they become a natural part of everyday life on the farm.

“Within the space of a couple of hours, a farmer may be up a ladder, starting up mechanical equipment and working with hazardous chemicals,” she said. “Each of these activities involves a WHS component. While current solutions introduce a lot of paperwork into this scenario, Safe Ag Systems allows them to quickly and easily incorporate these WHS needs into their everyday procedures.”

With an aim to remove the mystery surrounding WHS and to build on what farmers already do, Safe Ag Systems ensures the farmer is achieving a greater level of workplace safety and demonstrates their improved compliance. In addition to this, the tools are used as a solution for staying on top of maintenance records and task management, meaning the farmer can see productivity gains and be more likely to use it on a daily basis.

“The information that we hear from farmers is that there are many safety incidents that occur on farms, and that mostly, details of these are not being recorded and learnt from,” said Ms Landt. “When using Safe Ag Systems, if they do have an incident, then the software will help prompt action to prevent it from happening again. It brings safety to front of mind.”

After receiving a grant from TechInSA, Version 2 of the software is now in development. New features include an offline mode, a digital scanner for ‘safe operating procedures’ and geo fencing so that personnel know who is on or off farm.

“For us it wasn’t a question of why start our business in South Australia; it was a question of why wouldn’t we,” Ms Landt said. “South Australia offers everything, including a great lifestyle for our team. The grant is an amazing opportunity, and it is allowing us to grow and create more jobs for South Australians.”

Safe Ag Systems received funding from the South Australian Government though the SAECF grant administered by TechInSA.

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Safe Ag Systems