Promotion of Safe Work Practices in the Agricultural Sector through Coaching as a Training Strategy in Australia

Richard Skiba

Abstract


There is currently, and historically, a high rate of workplace incidents and fatalities in the Australian Agricultural sector. This paper considers the use of coaching as a mechanism for provision of best practice safety training and development of a safety culture in Agricultural work places, particularly based on the current industry profiles and preferred methods of workplace learning. Current studies, including Safe Work Australia and AgHealth Australia data, and literature, such as Krauesslar and Passmore (2015) and Somes (2018), are reviewed to explain how coaching can enable workers to feel motivated and involved in workplace safety, and in effect, reducing the incidence of workplace injuries and fatalities. As such, the paper considers ‘what is the most successful training method to develop a stronger health and safety culture in the Agricultural Sector?’ The discussion finds that the most commonly and most effective learning approaches utilized in agricultural settings are based on ‘farmers learning from farmers’. This is effectively a coaching approach, and in turn, workplace coaching should be considered as a generic foundation skill taught to all workers in Agriculture to encourage effective consultation practices and communication between workers. The development of coaching skills can occur through their inclusion in formal training programs, such Certificate III or IV level programs in Vocational Education and Training and through short specific targeted programs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ije.v12i3.16938

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