27 September 2023

Worksafe farming inquiry out now

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The report of the WorkSafe Commissioner’s inquiry into the agricultural industry has been released.

The inquiry was conducted last year by former Chief Industrial Relations Commissioner, Pamela Scott.

It was originated by WorkSafe Commissioner, Darren Kavanagh after the 12 th workplace death in the industry over the preceding 12 months.

A total of 62 written submissions to the inquiry were received and Ms Scott held community meetings across the State and a series of webinars for those who could not attend in person.

Her recommendations included that a specialist Agricultural team of inspectors and liaison officers and an advisory service be established; that steps be taken to raise industry awareness of safety; and that a suite of codes of practice and guidance notes directed to the agricultural industry be developed.

Mr Kavanagh expressed his gratitude to Ms Scott and assured the industry he generally supported its recommendations.

“I support the recommendations of the inquiry and am giving them consideration, and I intend to consult the State Government on the recommendations that require Government action,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“I called for the independent inquiry because I was increasingly concerned with the number of deaths in the industry,” he said.

“The statistics were not acceptable and I was concerned that the number of deaths had continued to increase.”

The WorkSafe Commissioner said he was concerned that in some agricultural workplaces, the workplace culture seemed to accept much greater risk than any other industry, with farm production appearing to be put before the safety of families and workers.

Ms Scott’s report and the Commissioner’s response can be accessed at this PS News link.

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