New two-year action plan developed to improve work health and safety in agriculture industry

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SafeWork SA has developed a new two-year action plan to improve work health and safety in the agriculture industry.

The new two-year action plan has been developed in consultation with the agriculture industry and aims to reduce the number of workplace injuries at farms and agricultural sites across South Australia.

According to SafeWork SA Acting Director Dini Soulio, there have been 40 fatalities in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing industry sector in South Australia since 2005.

“This equates to 25% of fatalities across all industries in South Australia,” he said.

“Thirteen fatalities involved a vehicle – eight involved a tractor, four involved a truck, one involved a utility and two involved quad bikes – while nine were due to other farm machinery.”

The new action plan highlights the cost of work injury claim. Claims between 2013 and 2016 cost approximately $8 million a year.

“As it is livestock workers and shearers who have been specifically identified as being hurt, the livestock and dairying industries are keen to participate in implementing the action plan,” said Andrew Curtis, CEO of Livestock SA and SA Dairyfarmers Association.

“It’s clear more needs to be done to reduce fatalities and injuries on farms and in the broader agricultural sector.

“This action plan was developed after consulting with the sector, and features ten key areas for action over the next two years to better educate and protect people working in this vital part of our economy.”

The plan’s key element include increased collaboration with industry to develop specific workshops and programs to promote workplace health and safety; a new program on physical and mental health and wellbeing issues within the agricultural sector, targeted dissemination of practical information and advice relating to key injury focus areas; increased support for young farmer leadership groups and supply chain networks to grow awareness of health and safety and best practice; safety campaign highlighting the hazards and risks and practical control measures when using quad bikes; and further engagement with secondary and tertiary institutions to ensure health and safety training is included in the curricula of courses delivered to agriculture students.

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