WorkSafe launches inquiry into the agriculture sector

WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh will conduct an inquiry into Western Australia’s agricultural industry after the most recent work-related death in June 2022 – the 12th fatal incident in 12 months in the sector.

The inquiry will not include the commercial fishing sector.

In the most recent incident a 24-year-old male died 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,” Mr 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,” he said.

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