Cattle handling guide released in Farm Safety Week

Safe Work Australia is promoting farm safety this week to help improve the health and safety of workers on farms.

In 2013-14, 36 workers were killed and 2565 workers were compensated for serious injuries and diseases in the agriculture industry. While these rates have been declining, improvements can still be made to reduce the number of deaths and injury on farms.

“National Farm Safety Week is an important initiative that raises awareness of farm safety issues across Australia” said Acting CEO Amanda Grey. “Agriculture can be a rewarding industry to work in, but it can also be dangerous.”

Working with animals, manual handling and falls from height are the leading causes of injury and single vehicle incidents are the leading cause of farm worker fatalities.

Coinciding with Farm Safety Week, Safe Work Australia has released a new Guide for managing risks in cattle handing.

Cattle handling can present significant risks to workers, from being crushed, gored, trampled, hit or bitten by cattle. In the 10 years from 2005–2014, 36 per cent of injury claims in the agriculture industry were due to cattle handling and most of these injuries were caused by being hit by cattle.

“Animals are unpredictable, but there are ways to work with them to reduce the risk of serious injury,” Ms Grey said. “The new Guide promotes the use of natural cattle handling techniques to ensure safety of the worker and the welfare of the cattle”. The Guide to managing risks in cattle handling is available on the Safe Work Australia website.

To assist people working on farms, Safe Work Australia has also supported the National Farmers’ Federation to produce two farm safety videos on machinery guarding and stockyard handling.

The videos outline four simple steps to manage risks when working with machinery and around the stockyard, and are available on the Safe Work Australia YouTube channel.

More information including tips and links to guides on farm safety will be published on the Safe Work Australia website during Farm Safety Week, 18-22 July 2016.

The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 20122022 lists Agriculture as a priority industry. Safe Work Australia and individual Safe Work Australia Members are working to improve work health and safety outcomes in the agriculture sector through activities listed in the National Agriculture Activity Plan 2014-2019 available on the Safe Work Australia website.


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