A Woolhandler is employed as part of the shearing team to prepare and move the wool. The position may involve camp-out and/or travel jobs.
Report to: The Woolhandler reports to the Head Woolhandler while in the shed. When on a camp-out, the woolhandler reports to the Team Leader after work hours.
The Woolhandler must work to the direction of the Head Woolhandler. Any grievances about the Head Woolhandler should be taken to the Team Leader. Any grievances about the Team Leader should be taken to the Overseer or to the Operations Manager.
When not out at a job, the woolhandler reports directly to the Operations Manager. The woolhandler has no other employees reporting to them.
Conditions of Employment The MSL Team Operations Manual, MSL Employment Agreement and MSL Health & Safety Manual should be read in conjunction with this Job Description, as the conditions they contain shall apply to the job of Woolhandler.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Head Woolhandler will determine how wool is to be prepared, in consultation with the client.
Prepare the wool according to the Head Woolhandler’s instructions. Wool is prepared to the MSL Woolhandling Standards (see below) unless directed otherwise by the Head Woolhandler or the client. If you are unsure of anything, ask the Head Woolhandler.
The Head Woolhandler will decide how the shed is to be run, including the order that the woolhandlers work on the board.
The Head Woolhandler decides when the woolhandlers have finished their work after each run. Ask the Head Woolhandler if you need to leave the shed during work hours.
The Team Leader and Head Woolhandler may together decide to stand the woolhandler down where the woolhandler/shearer ratio is too high. This may happen when shearing rams, if a shearer is injured, if a shearing plant breaks down, or if moving from ewes to lambs.
Where a classer is present, the classer will determine the wool preparation standards. The classer may request wool to be reworked, and in extreme cases, may call a halt to all work at the shed. The classer should liaise with the Head Woolhandler and not instruct woolhandlers and pressers individually.
Help to check oddments after each run. Ensure only correct types of wool are present.
The woolhandler is responsible for looking after their own broom. When on travel jobs, the broom should be taken home each night. No brooms should be used on raised boards. Use a paddle instead.
Raddle all sheep called by the shearers. Shearers will call cut tits, cut hamstrings, bad udders, and wrong sex for mob and black wool.
Work with the other woolhandlers to ensure the shed is clean and tidy at each break and the shed kitchen is clean and tidy at the end of the day.
Work with the other woolhandlers to tidy the shed and shed kitchen well at the end of the job. Clear up all loose wool. Fadges should be left stacked, pushed down and clearly labeled.
On a camp-out, help load vans and trailers. Clean the quarters as requested by the Team Leader. Work with the rest of the shearing team to tidy the quarters at the end of the job.
Health and Safety
Know where the shed’s Main Power Switch is. The Head Woolhandler will advise you of its location at the start of the job. Turn off the power if a shearer’s gear locks up or if there is a problem with the wool press.
Know how to operate shearing plant cords. The cord needs to be turned off if the shearer gets into difficulty, in order to prevent injury. Notify the Team Leader of any accidents or injuries sustained during work hours.
Special clothing (e.g. bras) may be required. Several outlets advertise clothing in the Shearing magazine. Suitable enclosed footwear must be worn at all times. Woolhandlers must not work in jandals or bare feet.
The most important objective is to get as much of the same type of wool in the main line as possible. This can be achieved by:
Pick with fingers, not by the hand full.
Bend and use hands, do not use sweep
Head Woolhandler to check wool stack as often as possible
On full wool, make a separate line of pieces (unless a small clip, then put pieces and bellies together)
TOPKNOTS & EYECLIPS
Second Shear: eyeclips/topknots in the B line
If too seedy, put into a separate line
With big clips of SS you may be able to make a separate line
Keep separate to any other line.
Stain must be kept separate.
Stain and blood can be put together.
If bellies are clean, put in the A line. If in doubt, wash a piece of the belly to see if it matches the A line.
Bellies don’t normally match the A line in the spring time.
If the bellies go in the A line, skirt the frib off. If the frib is a light colour then put in the B line. If a heavy colour, put in a line of its own or, if there is not much of it, put in the stain.
If bellies don’t go in the A line, put bellies and pieces together
Blending must be done when bellies are in the A line. Do blending before it is put into the press (this is normally done by the presser).
Check your B line over before putting into the fadge.
Blend as you put B’s into the fadge.
The Head Woolhandler is to check through B fadges at the end of each run.
If in doubt, pull it out.
Bend & pick.
B lines are meant to be heavily coloured.
If uncertain, find out from the client or ring the Operations Manager.
This is the basic wool preparation used when a client is not around to instruct the team, or has left it up to the Head Woolhandler to make the decision.