Tighter rules are essential

REGULATION NEEDED: Geoff Paton says Queensland lags behind other states on accreditation.
REGULATION NEEDED: Geoff Paton says Queensland lags behind other states on accreditation. Contributed

THE shock poisoning of experienced Lynford farmer Howard Reck has prompted calls for tighter rules around the sale of pesticides and herbicides.

Ashley Reck, who operated Reck Brothers Farms with his brother, said he does not want chemicals banned but he is concerned inexperienced people can purchase chemicals without knowing how to use them safely.

"There is a training requirement for farmers spraying chemicals, for occupational health and safety, including certification in chemical handling," Mr Reck said.

Geoff Paton, director of CountryCo Training based in Toowoomba, said Queensland was "definitely lagging" in not requiring farmers to be accredited in chemical handling.

He said farmers use certification to meet quality assurance programs and also to satisfy workplace safety rules.

"While accidents do happen, there is a greater chance if people are not trained," Mr Paton said.

He said safety had improved over the past 20 years, but said there was a long way to go.

"As a qualified trainer and certifier, there are safeguards in place, but it could be a lot better," he said.

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