Another agriculture industry death prompts WorkSafe reminder

WorkSafe has expressed disappointment at the number of deaths in the agriculture sector after another work-related death on a farm yesterday.

WorkSafe is investigating the work-related death of a 65-year-old truck driver at a potato farm at Eastbrook near Pemberton yesterday afternoon.

The man was believed to have been run over by a truck when he attempted to gain access to it as it rolled down an incline.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today there had been far too many deaths in WA’s agriculture sector this financial year.

“There have been six deaths in the agriculture sector since July 1 last year,” Mr McCulloch said.  “This equates to more than 35 per cent of the total work-related deaths over this period.

“And since the agriculture sector only accounts for three per cent of the workforce Australia-wide, it is a serious concern that the sector is so over-represented in the fatality statistics.

“These deaths are simply unnecessary and unacceptable, and everyone involved in agriculture – from farmers to industry associations to machinery dealers to manufacturers – has role to play in reducing the toll in the industry.

“It is crucial to ensure that farm machinery is designed safely and that it is operated in the correct manner.  Everyone needs to understand how to operate the types of plant involved in agriculture and be acutely aware of the associated risks.

“Better awareness of safety is the only way to arrest this sad toll of absolutely unnecessary tragedies.”

WorkSafe inspectors are today at the scene of the yesterday’s incident, and will interview witnesses and investigate the circumstances.

WorkSafe thoroughly investigates serious work-related injuries and deaths in WA with a view to preventing future incidents of a similar nature.

“Any work-related death is a tragedy, and my sincere condolences go out to the man’s family,” Mr McCulloch said.

Media contact:  Caroline De Vaney 9327 8744 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only).
Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

Media release
08 May 2013

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