Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has published a new guide to promote safety in the rural sector.
The guide, an overview for the rural industry of the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, is designed to help rural industry employers and workers understand their health and safety duties in the workplace.
Queensland farmers and rural workers are urged to familiarise themselves with the information, particularly after a spate of tragic deaths in the rural sector in 2011, and yet another quad bike fatality last month.
Figures for January to June 2011 showed 17 workplace deaths across the state, with the rural sector (including agriculture, forestry and fishing) having the highest number of fatalities at seven deaths.
The construction industry, with three fatalities, was the next most dangerous industry in the state.
Crush injuries in particular are a problem in the rural industry, with four of the fatalities resulting from collisions or falls involving a quad bike, a truck, a cotton picker and a tractor, respectively.
The new guide has information that can help cut the number of injuries and fatalities on farms and other rural industries.
It covers hazardous materials, asbestos, rollovers, working in confined spaces, high risk work, musculo-skeletal injuries, codes of practices, notifications and a range of other relevant issues such as sun exposure.
Personal protective equipment, remote and isolated work and other matters with a rural focus such as the use of quad bikes, chainsaws and heavy machinery are also covered.
A special section is included on animal handling and there are links to other specialist areas such as chemicals and electrical.