WorkSafe WA Commissioner launches rural safety inquiry

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Sunday, 26 June, 2022 - 12:00
Policy & legislation
Western Australia

WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh will conduct an inquiry into the agricultural industry after the 12th work-related death in 12 months in the sector.

A 24-year-old male recently died as he was moving a bogged vehicle with a tractor when the towing equipment he was using failed and he was struck in the head, causing fatal injuries.

“The statistics for the agricultural industry are not acceptable, and it is deeply concerning that the number of fatalities in the industry continues to increase,” Kavanagh said.

“As the regulator, I have advised the Minister of my intention to use my powers under the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 to conduct an inquiry into the industry, beginning with examining the tragic deaths of agricultural workers and family members over the past five years.

“The culture in the agriculture industry seems to allow fatal incidents to occur at significantly higher rates than any other industry, with farm production appearing to be put before the safety of families and workers.

“The inquiry will aim to establish how to make changes in safety in the industry, and a report will be generated with recommendations on investigations and enforcement for consideration by the State Government.”