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Working Outdoors

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THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN OUTDOORS

Most crops and harvesting jobs are very dependant on local weather conditions. The size of crops and when they are harvested are often controlled by local weather during the year.

Weather Conditions
Most harvesting jobs are done outdoors with little or no protection from the weather. Weather conditions can be hot, dusty, humid or even rainy. Despite of changing weather harvest work usually continues to be able to complete the harvest on time.

Physical requirements
Most harvest jobs require a reasonable level of individual physical fitness and can involve work from ladders or mechanical hoists, standing, kneeling or sitting while moving through crop. When picking tree crops it is quite normal to use a "picking bag" which is worn strapped to the shoulders. Lifting is often a required activity and the work can be repetitious and tiring.

Equipment

Appropriate clothing should be worn. Wearing clothing that will keep you well covered and protected against weather conditions and work environment. Gloves will sometimes be needed to protect hands from thorny branches. Maximum protection against the sun is essential. E.g. long sleeve cotton shirt, light weight slacks, trousers or shorts a wide soft brimmed hat and good sunglasses are considered a must. Also solid work boots with ankle support is also recommended as the ground may be uneven where you work. Sunscreen must be worn when working outdoors in Australia. A sun lotion with protection factor of at least 30+ is the best.

Drink Water and Eat Well
During the long hot days a good supply of water is required to prevent dehydration issues. A large water bottle for use every day with a good cut lunch is essential. Eat well and get good rest each night for next days ahead. Harvesting crops is demanding work so pace yourself accordingly.

Insects
Insects are very common in crops. They can be both annoying and dangerous. Always carry a strong effective repellent and use it regularly. Ask and listen to advise from your employer regarding insects and other creepy crawlies.

Safety Issues
Listen carefully to instructions given on the harvest and all aspects of health and safety advise. Follow instructions given and be careful when handling the produce and only harvest what has been specified. If in doubt you can always ask for further advise or instructions.