WorkSafe – Reducing accidents involving vehicles on farms

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This article is summarised from a WorkSafe media release, 15 March 2018.

Read the full media release

WorkSafe has started a major drive to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities involving vehicles on farms. WorkSafe will work with the sector on new and improved guidance, standards, and training to help farmers make the right decisions.

Over the next three years, WorkSafe will focus on reducing the critical risk of working in and around farm vehicles. These are the instances where the decision by the farmer can be the difference between life or death. This focus isn’t about telling farmers how to farm, but helping them make the right decisions when using vehicles, so they can go home to their families safe and well at the end of every day.

WorkSafe research shows there’s almost always a vehicle involved when someone dies as a result of a farm workplace accident. Almost 90% of farm fatalities involve working in and around vehicles and machinery.

‘Making even a small improvement in this area will have a significant impact on reducing injuries and saving lives on farm,’ says Jo Pugh, WorkSafe’s Deputy General Manager Assessments. ‘As part of this focus, our inspectors will be discussing safer use of vehicles with farmers during assessments. They’ll be asking farmers about how vehicles are used on their farm and what they are doing to ensure vehicles are not a factor for them or their workers being hurt or killed.

‘Farmers will know safer ways of doing jobs, which equipment is safest in different situations, and what engineering solutions are out there that make vehicles and machinery safer.’

Important safety considerations include:

  • farmers considering if their vehicle is the right one for the job
  • the use of seat belts in vehicles and using the safety mechanisms provided with those vehicles, like operator protective devices.

Related articles

Keeping safe on farms (WorkSafe website)

Keep safe, keep farming toolkit (WorkSafe website)

Image by By KVDP (Public domain), from Wikimedia Commons

Published in consumer and occupational safety.