WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a reminder to agribusinesses, farmers and workers about the dangers of riding on the back of trailers and attachments following a number of serious incidents.
A 70-year-old worker suffered critical head injuries and later died in hospital after falling from a trailer being towed by a tractor at Woorinen South in February.
It was the third life lost in a workplace incident involving falls from trailers and attachments since 2018, with a number of serious injuries also recorded over this period.
A 68-year-old worker also lost his life when he fell and was run over by a tractor and trailer at Somerville in 2020 and a 56-year-old farmer died after he was crushed while feeding stock using a tractor and trailer on a farm near Mansfield in 2018.
In March, a worker suffered serious injuries after they fell from the trailer they were riding on during burning off work.
It follows seven serious incidents involving passengers falling from trailers and attachments in the past four years, including:
WorkSafe Victoria executive director of health and safety Narelle Beer said using trailers to carry passengers on farms or roads posed a significant risk.
“There is no safe way to ride on trailers and attachments that are not designed to carry passengers; there is a huge risk of falling, being thrown off or being crushed by loads that shift and fall,” Beer said.
“Attachments, including trailers, are vital pieces of equipment on farms but like any tool, they should only be used for the task they have been designed for.
“WorkSafe can and will take action against employers who are not taking the risks seriously and putting lives at risk.”
In 2019, hop grower Neville Victor Handcock was convicted and fined $130,000 after a worker died when he fell from a trailer towed by an out-of-control tractor at Myrrhee in the state’s northeast in 2017.
Worksafe Victoria recommended a number of ways to control risks when using trailers and attachments: