Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston will hold an urgent Farm Safety Summit on Wednesday May 27 to discuss with relevant groups how to improve workplace safety in Western Australia’s Agriculture industry.
When comparing industries, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing had the highest number of workplace deaths – there were 18 in the past five financial years since 2014-15, followed by Construction (15) and Mining (13).
WorkSafe is still investigating another nine deaths for the 2018-19 financial year.
Each year the Agriculture industry pays around $55 million in workers’ compensation premiums, with an average premium rate which is three times the all-industry rate and double the next highest industry (Transport).
Minister Johnston will invite Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan, WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh, WorkCover WA Chief Executive Officer Chris White, WAFarmers, Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA, Safe Farms WA, Country Women’s Association of WA and the WA Shearing Industry Association to attend the summit.
As stated by Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
“The Agriculture industry is 10 times more dangerous than the mining industry, so we need Western Australian farmers to address their safety culture.
“The high cost of workers’ compensation in the Agricultural sector demonstrates their safety culture is inadequate.
“Not only are farm workers and their family subject to working on dangerous farm sites, it’s also costing the industry excessive amounts of money.
“It’s time for the farming industry to improve their culture, this will save lives and money.
“I look forward to meeting with the farming groups to discuss how we can improve safety on site.”
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“A strong agricultural sector is absolutely critical to WA’s economy and to so many of our regional communities.
“We want to work with the agricultural sector to ensure farms are safe places to work, and to put the industry on the best footing moving forward.”