Safety alert issued after farm worker killed by reversing trailer in a paddock

Thursday, 9 April, 2020 - 18:45
Policy & legislation

WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert after a farm worker was struck and killed by a trailer.

The incident occurred while the trailer was being moved closer to workers in a paddock.

Moving heavy equipment on farms (including in paddocks) creates risks to the health and safety of nearby workers and other people, particularly if the operator is unable to see other people or objects at all times.

To reduce the risks to health and safety when operating heavy equipment on farms, the alert said employers and self-employed persons should ensure that:

  • All people in the vicinity of equipment are kept within the line of sight of machine operators, or within designated safe areas
  • Other workers, bystanders and children are kept away from the work area
  • Appropriate communication methods are used to confirm safety clearances, for example, handheld radios and spotters
  • Machinery operators are trained and understand the risks of the tasks that they are undertaking

“Employers and self-employed persons must also eliminate, or if not reasonably practicable, reduce the risk of powered mobile plant colliding with pedestrians or other powered mobile plant so far as is reasonably practicable,” the alert said.

“Powered mobile plant must also be fitted with a warning device if there is a likelihood of powered mobile plant colliding with pedestrians or other powered mobile plant.”

Employers must also provide employees with the necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to enable them to do their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health.