Western Australian safety officials launch investigation following 12th death in agriculture

Darren Kavanagh, Western Australia’s WorkSafe Commission, will investigate the state’s agricultural sector after the industry’s 12th labor-related death in just 12 months.

and statementWA’s Mining Industry Regulatory Safety Agency said a 24-year-old man died on June 21 between Varley Creek and Lake King in the Great Southern region.

When the towing device he was using broke down, a 24-year-old child was moving a parked vehicle on a tractor. He was hit on his head and was fatally injured.

“We are deeply concerned that the agricultural industry statistics are unacceptable and that the industry’s death toll continues to grow,” Kabana said.

“Work-related death is a tragedy. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the workers’ families involved in yesterday’s incident.”

Kavanagh says that the culture of the agricultural industry “seems to allow fatal incidents to occur at a significantly higher rate than any other industry, and farm production takes precedence over family and worker safety. It seems that it has been done. “

“As a regulator, I intend to use my authority under the Industrial Safety and Health Act of 2020 to investigate the industry, starting with investigating the tragic deaths of agricultural workers and their families over the last five years. Advised the minister. “

Deaths in the last year

Other agricultural deaths reported in Western Australia include the death on February 8. 89 year old man He died after dropping hay from a tractor in the Berkshire Valley, 200 kilometers north of Perth.

December 22, 2021, 72 year old farmer He died after jumping off an old tractor in Maya, Midwestern Western Australia, about 240 kilometers northeast of Perth.

“I’m particularly concerned about farmers over the age of 60, as six of the nine agricultural workers who died in the past year belonged to this age group,” Kavanagh said. It says. statement..

Tractors and quadriceps have been the leading causes of death since 2001. AgHealth Australia..

A total of 46 farm deaths were reported nationwide (pdf) According to AgHealth Australia, the period from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. In 2020, deaths on 58 farms were recorded.

Of the 1632 deaths recorded between 2001 and December 31, 2021, just over half (50.5 percent or 1,418) were over 50 years old. 14.4 percent or 235 were children under the age of 15. And 88.2 percent or 1,440 were male.

Changes to increase the safety of the agricultural industry

Kavanagh has called on industry leaders to reduce the death toll in the agricultural industry.

“Agriculture is often represented by the top three industries of workplace deaths, and there is a growing need to prioritize safety and health,” says Kavanagh. Said..

Trevor Whitington, CEO of WA Farmers, said a recent change in WA’s genocide law “unless the agricultural industry adopts a much better safety protocol to reduce accidents and move towards zero fatalities. They made it very clear that they would start pursuing the industry in much more. Strictness, “he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Based on Section 30A of the Industrial Safety and Health Act (WA) 2020 (pdf), The biggest penalties for manslaughter are 20 years in prison, including a $ 5 million fine for individuals and a $ 10 million fine for businesses.

Henry Jom


Henry Jom is a reporter reporting on local news based in Australia. Contact him at [email protected]

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