Category : All Metro

15 Jul 2018

Common sense the key to farm safety

Farmers are being warned that a simple choice can have tragic consequences and that they must plan ahead and prioritise safety in each and every task.

The warning from WorkSafe follows twelve workplace deaths from incidents on Victorian farms since July 2017, an average of one a month.

Six people have died as a result of on-farm workplace incidents since January 1, which is half of the workplace deaths that have occurred in Victoria so far in 2018.

The plea to put safety first comes as National Farm Safety Week highlights the many simple things that farmers can do to make their workplaces safer for themselves, workers and family members.

WorkSafe Head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice Michael Coffey said too many farm deaths were the result of one decision, often made in haste.

"There is no disputing there are all kinds of risks in farming. The work can be awkward and arduous, it can involve machinery, heavy lifting and dealing with large and unpredictable animals," Mr Coffey said.

"But fatalities and serious injuries occurring on farms are also being caused by the way in which the work is being done, or by people not using available safety devices."

"It is people not wearing helmets while riding motorbikes or quadbikes, not wearing fitted seat belts, not making sure guards are in place following maintenance, working too close to moving vehicles, or one person trying to do every task themselves rather than asking for help."

Mr Coffey said keeping safety front of mind for each task was crucial to making farming workplaces safer.

"Experience doesn't prevent fatalities or injuries on farms. Carrying out the same tasks every day can often lead to complacency and people taking short cuts to save time or money," Mr Coffey said.

"But time and money mean nothing to the loved ones left behind.

"Think about the task at hand and how it can be carried out safely. This may mean using the right equipment for the job, calling in specialist contractors, or if it involves working alone, letting someone know where you will be."

Mr Coffey said National Farm Safety Week was also an opportunity to remind farmers that the quad bike rebate, to assist farmers to fit roll over protections devices to their bikes, or help pay for a more terrain appropriate vehicle, was still available through the Victorian Farmers Federation.

"It is a tragic fact that many people have died after being crushed or asphyxiated beneath quad bikes which have not been fitted with rollover protection devices."

Tips for making your farm safe:

• Plan ahead. Think about each and every job and how it can be carried out safely.
• Use the right equipment for the job.
• If you're working alone, let someone know where you will be, and check-in so people know where you are.
• Ensure all machinery is switched off and disengaged when undertaking maintenance.
• Don't try and do everything yourself, engage specialists if necessary.
• Never think that experience will prevent accidents.

08 May 2018

Farmer dies after being struck by trailer

A man in his 70s has died after being run over by a trailer at a property near Ouyen.


It is believed the man was standing alongside the moving trailer, feeding hay to sheep when he was knocked to the ground about 9.30pm on Monday.


The trailer was attached to a ute.


WorkSafe is investigating.


The fatality brings the number of confirmed workplace deaths this year to ten, and is the sixth to occur on a farm.


 WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Paul Fowler once again urged farmers to put safety first.


"Tragically, many on-farm fatalities involve people doing tasks they have done many times before, but experience doesn't prevent injuries or deaths," he said.


"WorkSafe is urging farmers to think about the tasks they do each day and whether they can be carried out more safely, for their own sake and the sake of their loved ones."

01 May 2018

Housing sites on notice to reduce the risk of falls

WorkSafe inspectors are focusing on fall hazards in an effort to reduce the number of workers injured at housing construction sites.

Since February 1 this year, 40 serious incidents involving falls at construction sites have been reported to WorkSafe.

These include the following incidents, which occurred on building sites in April:

  • A man who fell and broke his leg after catching his foot between the rungs of a ladder at Inverloch.
  • A man who fractured ribs after falling three metres through a void at Fawkner.
  • A man who received concussion after falling 2.4 metres when a truss gave way at a site in Caulfield North.

WorkSafe Acting Head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice Dermot Moody said falls were an ongoing issue within the housing construction sector.

“Even a fall from a low height can still lead to serious injury or a death,” Mr Moody said.

"Employers in the housing sector have the same responsibilities as those on any other site to identify risks and ensure correct safety measures are in place.

“Our inspectors will be reminding them of this when they visit housing sites this month.”

Mr Moody said WorkSafe inspectors would not hesitate to take enforcement action where they identified the risk of a fall, or where safe work method statements were not in place for high risk construction tasks.

“Control measures for fall risks are well known and readily available, so there is no excuse not to have them in place.”

Employers can control the risk of falls by:

  • Eliminating the risk by doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction.

The remaining risk can be reduced by:

  • Fall prevention devices like scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, elevated work platforms or safety mesh.
  • Travel-restraint systems, industrial rope-access systems, catch platforms and fall arrest harness systems.
  • Using a ladder or administrative controls.

For more information go to

24 Apr 2018

Ricegrowers Ltd fined $260,000 following maintenance worker’s death

Agricultural processor Ricegrowers Ltd has been convicted and fined $260,000 following the death of a maintenance worker at a stock feed plant in Tongala.

Ricegrowers pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide or maintain plant that was, so far as reasonably practical, without risks to health and safety.

The Melbourne County Court heard the 53-year-old man was performing maintenance on the inside of a surge bin at the time of the incident in September, 2014.

He died when the wooden plank he was standing on snapped, causing him to fall onto a sensor-activated screw conveyor at the bottom of the bin.

The court heard there was no emergency stop button within reach of the surge bin’s access plate that would have allowed an observer to stop the screw conveyor in the event it started operating during maintenance.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Paul Fowler said employers must ensure protective devices such as override buttons and guards are in place to prevent workers being caught in moving plant during maintenance work.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for workers to be exposed to horrific injuries or death because of improperly maintained or unsafe plant,” he said.

“These types of incidents have tragic consequences for workers, their families and friends, and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute employers who fail to protect people from unsafe plant.”

Safety measures to prevent injuries from operating plant include:

  • Ensuring emergency stop buttons are in within reach of observers
  • Using isolation procedures such as lockout devices when clearing blockages or servicing and maintaining machinery and equipment
  • Ensuring guards are in the correct place during and after any repair or maintenance
  • Installing fitted guards, fences, barriers or interlocked gates so moving parts cannot be touched and workers cannot be struck by ejected items
  • Ensuring pre-operation checks are carried out on interlocking and emergency systems.


For more information visit


374 Posts under Category All Metro Displaying 1 - 15 of 374