In time for Farm Safety Week, WorkSafe has kicked off a yearlong safety campaign to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities occurring on farms.
The campaign comes after WorkSafe VIC report that eight of the 25 work-related fatalities in Victoria last year were on farms.
WorkSafe’s Ross Pilkington said with three of those deaths involving animal handling, inspectors would focus on dairy, beef and sheep cattle farms. Dangerous machinery and unsafe manual handling will also be targeted.
WorkSafe VIC note that “More than half of the 478 claims WorkSafe received in the agriculture industry last financial year came from livestock farming, particularly dairy, sheep and beef cattle farming,” and “Many injuries were caused by workers being hit by moving objects, body stressing, slips, trips and falls and vehicle accidents.”
Mr Pilkington said common safety issues identified on farms included machinery without guarding, forklifts without seatbelts, pallet racking being overloaded, poorly stored chemicals, quad bike operators without helmets and tractors without rollover protection.
WorkSafe VIC advise that machinery used in dairy processing, livestock handling, the use of tractors and quad bikes and equipment maintenance will be areas of focus for WorkSafe inspectors. Additionally quad bike safety will also continue to be a focus, particularly the use of helmets as a basic safety device. WorkSafe is urging employers to consider fitting crush prevention devices to provide potential additional protection in the event of a rollover. Inspectors will also be looking to see if safe systems of work including proper instruction, training and supervision are in place.
For more information, including a large range of resources and guidance that businesses can use to help make workplaces safer, head to the WorkSafe VIC website at: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au
Specific details of this campaign and a list of WorkSafe VIC’s tips for farmers can be found at http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/wsinternet/worksafe/sitetools/news/safety+campaign+to+target+victorian+farms