Independent Inquiry into safety in the WA agricultural industry released

The report from an independent inquiry into safety in the WA Agricultural Industry has been released, with most of its recommendations supported and currently under consideration.

The inquiry did not cover the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries but does provide a glimpse into what may lie ahead for fisheries, as it is still considered a dangerous working environment.

The Inquiry was conducted last year after the 12th workplace death in the industry over the preceding 12 months.

A total of 62 written submissions to the Inquiry were received as well as community meetings across the State and a series of webinars for those who could not attend in person.

The comprehensive report on health and safety in the agricultural industry presents findings and delivers eight recommendations that have been supported or noted by WorkSafe.

The recommendations include:

  • That a specialist agricultural team of inspectors and liaison officers and an advisory service be established to conduct inspections, attend industry events and develop advisory material for the industry;
  • That steps be taken to raise industry awareness of safety with the participation of industry groups, including specific agricultural industry web pages and utilisation of public events to educate farmers;
  • That a suite of codes of practice and guidance notes directed to the agricultural industry be developed, written as simple “how-to” and “how-not-to” documents; and
  • That timely information be given to the industry about the causes of fatalities and serious injuries.

The report on the Inquiry and Commissioner’s response are available on the WorkSafe Commissioner’s website.