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The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Date: 
Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 - 15:30
Category: 
Industry news
Location: 
National News
New South Wales

SafeWork NSW has urged farmers and sheep shearers to review shearing shed safety following an incident late last year in which a 20-year-old female suffered serious head injuries at Gulargambone.

SafeWork NSW is investigating the incident which occurred at a shearing shed on a rural property on 29 November 2017 when a female visitor’s hair became caught in the drive shaft of overhead shearing equipment and caused serious head injuries.

The incident highlighted the dangers in shearing sheds and that, despite recent progress, there was still room for improvement in the industry, said executive director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy.

“Sheep shearing can be dangerous work with many physical, chemical and biological hazards,” Dunphy said.

“Farmers need to carefully plan work, have safe work practices in place and provide adequate training to prevent injuries to workers and visitors.

“Unfortunately, with 349 shearers injured in the three years to July 2016, it’s clear that this isn’t occurring as well as it could.

“Once injured, shearers also take twice as long to get back to work as others due to the seriousness of their injures, so it’s critical that everyone in the shearing industry works together to improve safety.”

Dunphy said shearers and farmers should undertake a pre-shear shed inspection to identify safety issues and ensure they are addressed before shearing commences.