Follow this Safe Work Procedure when handling or working in the vicinity of livestock. ‘Livestock’ is defined as either cattle or sheep.

What are the minimum operator requirements?

  • Worker must be under direct supervision until assessed as competent by the person in charge of the workplace
  • Children under five must be directly supervised by an adult and are not to enter cattle yards

What equipment do you need?

  • Sturdy non-slip boots
  • Hat/sunscreen as required

General Procedure

  • Keep stock calm
  • Be firm
  • Maintain control of dogs
  • Exercise caution when dealing with cows with calves
  • Use good technique when lifting sheep and calves
  • Wash hands after handling livestock
  • Take care with sharp objects, such as sheath knives and needles

What should you do when handling bulls?

  • Treat bulls with respect
  • Do not move a dangerous bull on foot or alone
  • Never turn your back on a bull
  • Use vehicles or horses to assist in moving bulls when possible

What should you do when working in yards and woolsheds?

  • Check yards and woolsheds before use. Remove any items that could frighten stock or cause injury. Repair any areas that are not structurally sound, especially those used for cattle
  • Once stock are in yards, give them time to settle before handling them
  • When handling cattle in yards, plan an escape route
  • Do not get in the race with cattle. Always work above the rails, not through

What are the risks?

  • Crushing
  • Impact injuries
  • Illness

Where can you find more information?

WorkSafe Good Practice Guidelines “Safe Cattle Handling” and “Safe Sheep Handling”.