WorkSafe Commissioner launches inquiry into agriculture

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WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh will conduct an inquiry into the agricultural industry after the 12th work-related death in 12 months in the sector yesterday.

A 24-year-old male died yesterday between Varley Creek and Lake King in the Great Southern. He was moving a bogged vehicle with a tractor when the towing equipment he was using failed and he was struck in the head, causing fatal injuries.

“The statistics for the agricultural industry are not acceptable, and it is deeply concerning that the number of fatalities in the industry continues to increase,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“As the regulator, I have advised the Minister of my intention to use my powers under the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 to conduct an inquiry into the industry, beginning with examining the tragic deaths of agricultural workers and family members over the past five years.

“The culture in the agriculture industry seems to allow fatal incidents to occur at significantly higher rates than any other industry, with farm production appearing to be put before the safety of families and workers.”

“The inquiry will aim to establish how to make changes in safety in the industry, and a report will be generated with recommendations on investigations and enforcement for consideration by the State Government.

“Any work-related death is a tragedy, and I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the worker involved in yesterday’s incident.”

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media queries only).

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Media release
22 Jun 2022

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