October is National Safe Work Month – a time to commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.
Safe Work Australia was established in 2008 to develop national policy and guidance for WHS and workers’ compensation. Since then, they have been running national campaigns to raise awareness about WHS in the Australian working community.
No industry should be unsafe to work in and no death or injury is acceptable. And, because the whole community bears the financial cost of poor WHS, we know that safe and healthy work benefits everyone.
This is why, during October each year, SWA asks workers and employers across Australia commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.
Be a Safety Champion
This year’s theme demonstrates that anyone, both employers and workers from any occupation or industry can be a champion for work health and safety.
Everyone can support a safety culture at their workplace and promote best practice work health and safety initiatives.
We can all strive to Be a Safety Champion at work this October.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in due to the combination of hazards. These include plant, chemicals, noise, dust, sun exposure, working with animals as well as the fact many in the industry work alone or in remote locations. Between 2010 and 2014:
- More than one in five workers who died at work worked in agriculture. It has the highest fatality rate of any Australian industry (14.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers).
- Agricultural vehicles, for example tractors and quad bikes, accounted for 82 out of 221 (37%) worker deaths.
Tractors handle a variety of attachments. Even if the tractor itself is well set up for safe use, a new attachment introduces a new set of hazards. Combinations of tractor and attachment require competence and experience to set up, operate and maintain.
Planning and selecting the right equipment for the job is a key step before you start. You should think through the tasks, consider the type of equipment necessary and the terrain to ensure you select the right tractor and attachments for the job.
This will result in a reduced risk of injury or death. It also includes benefits such as better tractor efficiency, longer equipment life and lower repair costs.
The national body SWA is not a regulator and cannot advise you about safety compliance in the agriculture industry. If you need help, click on your state or territory below for more information on work health and safety in the agriculture industry.