Reasonably practicable


1 min read

"Reasonably practicable" refers to what you can reasonably do to manage risks on your farm. You must identify the risks, assess how likely they are to occur, and take action that is proportionate to potential injury or illness. It involves following industry practices and including your staff in risk management. However, it doesn't require you to take every possible measure, buy the most expensive equipment, or spend excessive time on health and safety training. This page emphasises taking responsibility for what you can control and assessing whether the cost of risk management is 'grossly disproportionate' to the risk itself.

Reasonably practicable means what is reasonably able to be done in the circumstances.

It means you need to:

  • determine what kind of risks are caused by your farm work.
  • consider how likely those risks are to occur and what harm could result if they did.
  • take appropriate action that is proportionate to the injury or ill-health that could occur.
  • implement well-known and effective industry practices.
  • involve your staff in identifying and controlling risks.

It doesn't mean you have to:

  • do everything humanly possible to prevent accidents.
  • buy the most expensive equipment on the market.
  • spend the bulk of your week on health and safety training, compliance and documentation.

This is about taking responsibility for what you can control. Overall, it means that you MUST do what was at the time reasonably able to be done by taking into account the likelihood and severity of harm, what people should reasonably know about, and the availability, suitability, and cost of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk.

If cost is to be considered, the test should be whether the cost is ‘grossly disproportionate’ to the risk.

Last updated: Sep 2023

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