A dead employee covered with white blanket - Larosh HR Consultant

Farms are dangerous places to work right? Animals are strong and unpredictable and machinery needs to be operated while vehicles are driven through rugged terrain. Incidents and accidents are just part of farm life.

But is it OK that our primary industries sector has the highest number of fatalities of any industry across Australia? 2015 has seen an increase nationally of workplace health and safety related prosecutions. According to Safe Work Australia (Traumatic Injury Fatalities database 2014), 25% of all workplace fatalities occurred in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry with machinery operators and drivers representing 32% of the total occupations.

fatalities-graph

Traumatic Injury Fatalities database, Safe Work Australia

So is the “she’ll be right mate” culture still appropriate? If it is alright to injure our employees, which ones is it alright to hurt? Statistics tell us the the more “near misses” we have the closer we are to killing someone. None of us want to live with that on our conscious but unfortunately many have to.

Let’s move our farming safety culture forward and lead from the top because it is not OK to injure our workers. The first step is to ensure you are compliant with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Under the harmonisation legislation do you know:

  • Who the “officer” accountable for all WHS across your business is and who the “duty holder” is?
  • Do you understand your obligations to the regulator and what defines a notifiable incident?
  • Do you know the definition of a “worker”?

If you’re not sure of the answers to these questions or feel there is scope to improve your WHS practices, why don’t you take 15 minutes out and complete the Larosh WHS Health Check Survey to receive your free “at a glance” report identifying your level of risk and key priorities.

Don’t forget, everyone has the right to go home to their family and friends safely!