Late last year Standards Australia released a new Standard AS 5340 “Livestock loading/unloading ramps & forcing pens” for the industry.
The Standard was created on the back of a Coronial recommendation following a fatal accident which occurred in 2013.
The Standard was created with input from the livestock farming industry, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and animal welfare representatives.
The Standard is not law (i.e. it is not an Act or Regulations) but it does constitute part of the state of knowledge that now exists in relation to workplace safety and animal welfare.
WorkSafe Inspectors will be able to refer to the Standard when issuing Improvement Notices or Prohibition Notices. They will also be able to reference the Standard in legal proceedings.
Farmers should strongly consider the Standard when considering improvements to their ramps or when looking to purchase new ramps and should seek assurance from the manufacturers that their new ramps meet the requirements of the new Standard.
The Standard is copyrighted and therefore cannot be shared but can be purchased from Standards Australia.
Alternatively farmers can refer to the 2015 Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards. The content in this guide is in very close alignment with the Australian Standard and it is easy to follow.
Many thanks to the ALRTA for making this resource available.