Tocal College backs skilled and safe farm workers

18 Jul 2018

NSW Department of Primary Industries Tocal College Principal, Darren Bayley has encouraged farmers and farm workers to use farm safety week to consider how they can reduce their odds of injury at work.

Mr Bayley said educating farmers and workers to stay safe around the farm is a major focus at Tocal College, and an integral part of all training it delivers.

“It is important to ensure farm workers have the right skills and knowledge to perform their everyday tasks safely,” he said.

“Tocal provides a range of accredited courses and farm safety programs aimed to keep farm workers skilled and safe.”

Tocal has been delivering Quad Bike Safety training since 2016, in partnership with SafeWork NSW.

“To date, 174 courses have been delivered across the state to 886 farmers and farm workers from a range of industries, with each participant receiving a free helmet suited to quad bike operation,” Mr Bayley said.

Demand is also high for safety training funded through the new vocational AgSkilled Program for the cotton and grains industry funded by NSW Government, with industry partners Cotton Australia and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

AgSkilled supported training is available to those with a genuine interest in the NSW cotton and grains industries. This includes producers, farm staff, contractors, jobseekers and industry professionals.

Mr Bayley said other safety courses include working with forklifts, working safely at height, working in confined spaces, chemical application, chemical risk management and WHS for supervisors and managers.

“In addition to these specialist courses, safety is incorporated into all other training the college delivers under this program,” he said.

“Tocal College is very pleased to offer a specialised course designed for agricultural teachers to get a better understanding on the safe operation and maintenance of tractors.

“Through a partnership between the NSW DPI and the Department of Education, 135 high school teachers in the public education system have been trained at DPI facilities at Yanco, Paterson and Tamworth.”

During the two-day course, the teachers develop knowledge on tractors for teaching and learning activities, plus specific teaching strategies for machinery. This professional development provided teachers with the opportunity to fine tune their skills, enhance competency and ensure best practice is followed.

This year Tocal College began delivering farm safety training to high school students.

Approximately 20 Year 11 students participated in skills training in tractors and quad bike riding. This training is funded through the Department of Education for secondary students.

To meet businesses and individual’s needs Tocal course delivery methods include face to face, online and blended.

To see the range of courses available through Tocal go to

Media contact: Anne Brook 02 6763 1163 or 0477 358 305