Safety on Your Rural Residential Property and All Terrain Vehicles
Most people do not think of the home as a dangerous place, however rural properties are one of the main places where accidents occur. Unlike urban areas, many rural residential properties are located some distance from emergency services and have increased hazards, such as tractors and machinery, chemicals, and livestock. Identifying the potential hazards and risks on your property will enable you to reduce the risk of accidents. You should also ensure that your family and visitors to your property are aware of any safety issues. A common example of a safety issue in a rural residential areas are All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) such as quadbikes. Questions you should ask related to potential hazards of these vehicles include;
- Do you really need to use the ATV for the task? Is it the best vehicle for the task?
- Is there a roll cage fitted? Do you have other safety equipment such as a helmet, eye protection, protective footwear?
- Has the ATV been maintained and is it in good working condition?
- Does the operator know how to use the vehicle properly. Are they over 16 years of age?
- Is there more than one person on the AT
Chemicals on your property could include a range of products used for a number of activities, such as household cleaning, vehicles and machinery use and maintenance, animal care, and pest and weed control. Chemical owners and users have legal obligations to reduce the potential hazards and risks to the health and safety of themselves and others and the potential impacts of such chemicals on the natural environment, including waterways, soils, native plants and animals. Before using any chemical on your property you should read the label on the product container, and the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). A MSDS is a document prepared by the manufacturer with all the available information on the product, including ingredients, any health and safety dangers, first aid instructions, emergency procedures, safety precautions and practices for safe use, handling and storage. There are a number of steps you should always follow when using chemicals:
- Always read the label and MSDS and follow the instructions for use
- Never mix different chemicals together
- Always store chemicals in the container in which you bought the product (NEVER store chemicals in food or drink containers)
- Monitor weather conditions—do not spray chemicals if rain is expected, in windy conditions or during high temperatures
- As a courtesy, notify neighbours of your intentions to use chemicals near their property, especially if you are spraying
- Ensure chemicals do not contaminate creeks, rivers, dams or other waterways - either directly or through runoff
- Ensure that you have the correct license for any chemicals you are using or storing
- Always dispose of used chemical containers through appropriate programs such as drumMUSTER or ChemClear. Call your Local Council for more information about these programs