15 April 2024

MPs meet in Griffith for farm industry safety roundtable

| Jarryd Rowley
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Member for Murray Helen Dalton and MP Tara Moriarty

Member for Murray Helen Dalton (right) welcomed MP Tara Moriarty (left) and other MPs to Griffith this week for a farming safety roundtable. Photo: Helen Dalton MP.

SafeWork NSW hosted a farming industry roundtable in Griffith last week to address the ongoing safety issues in the agriculture sector.

NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis and NSW Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty were joined by Member for Murray Helen Dalton to discuss ways to prevent fatalities and serious injuries in farming.

Other members of the roundtable included SafeWork NSW’s Family and Injured Workers Support and Advisory Group, as well as representatives from local agricultural companies and employers, relevant government agencies, unions, NSW Farmers, leading academics, and the Country Women’s Association.

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The roundtable featured discussions on post-incident support for workers, workplaces, and communities, and examined effective safety behaviour on farms relating to the most common hazards seen by SafeWork NSW inspectors.

Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said workers in agriculture were at greater risk of being killed or injured than most workers and that it was a fundamental right for everybody to feel safe at work and come home safely.

“There are more than 81,000 workers in NSW employed in agricultural industries, including farming, fishing, and forestry,” she said.

“In 2013 there were 149 safety incidents in the NSW agriculture industry which has more than doubled to 358 incidents by 2022. Fatalities are also consistent, with 16 farm-related deaths in 2022, 13 in 2023 and four so far in 2024.

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“Plant, machinery, vehicles and animals are the biggest dangers in agricultural workplace settings, and businesses and managers should ensure everyone who works in their business is provided with safe equipment and procedures as well as the right skills and supervision, to carry out their work safely.”

Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty said farm safety was extremely important, that there were many hazards unique to agricultural work and it was paramount that workers had the correct protections in place to ensure they were safe at work.

“This roundtable is a great opportunity for agricultural industry members and workers to discuss hazard reduction and safety behaviour they have found to reduce workplace injury and death, and how these lessons can be applied across the industry,” she said.

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