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Industry action plan to promote safety in agriculture

21 July 2017

A new two-year action plan has been developed in consultation with the agriculture industry to improve work health and safety.

Coinciding with National Farm Safety Week, SafeWork SA has released an Agricultural Action Plan, aimed at cutting the number of workplace injuries at farms and agricultural sites across South Australia.

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

“This equates to 25% of fatalities across all industries in South Australia,” Mr Soulio 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 industry action plan highlights the cost of work injury claims – with claims between 2013 and 2016 costing 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.”

Key elements of the plan include:

  • Increased collaboration with industry to develop specific workshops and programs to promote workplace health and safety
  • A new program focussed 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
  • A safety campaign to highlight the hazards and risks and practical control measures when using quad bikes
  • Further engagement with secondary and tertiary institutions to ensure health and safety training is included in the curricula of courses delivered to agriculture students.

The action plan can be found at https://www.safework.sa.gov.au/show_page.jsp?id=116471