Farm workplace health and safety must be a priority
Alan Dingle (Queensland Country Life)
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in due to the combination of hazards. These include heavy plant and machinery, chemicals, noise, dust, sun and heat exposure, working with animals as well as the fact many in the industry work alone or in remote locations. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 188 worker fatalities in the agriculture industry, which is 20 per cent of all worker fatalities over the period, with 69pc of fatalities in the sector involving a vehicle including tractors (23pc) and quad bikes (15pc).
Farm safety is of great importance to ensure that farmers, workers and other people on farm are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The 'Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland' recommended that a new offence of 'gross negligence causing death' (also known as industrial manslaughter) be introduced. The offence was introduced in October 2017 and has the effect of extending corporate criminal responsibility to cases where a company's unwritten rules, policies, work practices or conduct tacitly authorise non-compliance or fail to create a culture of compliance consistent with its responsibilities and duties of care.
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