12:49 pm, Thursday 20 June, 2013
Photo: SafetyCulture Library
WorkCover NSW has launched a plan to ensure the safety of the state’s sheep and beef cattle farms.
The Sheep and Beef Cattle Farming Industry Action Plan aims to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses, and improve injury management in one of the states’ highest risk industries.
The Plan was launched by a/General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy and industry partners at a sheep farm 20 kilometres west of Tamworth.
This program is part of WorkCover NSW’s Focus On program with the objective of improving health, safety and return to work outcomes for workers in the highest risk industries in the state.
Mr Dunphy revealed six major safety issues identified by the Industry Action Plan to make NSW’s more than 26,000 sheep and beef cattle farming businesses safer and more productive.
- Working with livestock
- Quad bike use
- Tractors and related implements and attachments
- Occupational disease
- Return to work and injury management
- Child safety on farms
“The sheep and beef cattle farming industry is one of the state’s largest industries, accounting for $2.2 billion of the NSW’s agricultural industry’s $11.7 billion revenue,” said Mr Dunphy.
“It is also one of the State’s highest risk industries with 1,458 injuries and illness, including seven fatalities over the three years to July 2011 at a cost of more than $45 million to the NSW workers compensation scheme.
“Fatalities and serious injuries commonly involve mobile plant vehicles including tractors, quad bikes and machinery, with the most common injuries being sprains and strains while handling animals, and being hit by, and falling from, animals.
“Farmers and farm workers are well placed to contribute to the development of work health and safety solutions.
Mr Dunphy said they will address the identified issues and will work closely with the farming industry to develop solutions.
“We will address these issues by building relationships with those who can influence change, designing innovative solutions that produce sustainable change, engaging farmers and farm workers to build their capability, highlighting and sharing best practice from other workplaces and targeted activities in high risk workplaces,” he said.
WorkCover NSW is implementing the Sheep and Beef Cattle Farming Industry Action Plan together with the NSW Farmers, Department of Primary Industries and Tocal Agricultural College, Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, Australian Lot Feeders Association, Australian Livestock and Property Agents, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Services and the Country Women’s Association.