Vic deaths spark farmer safety concern

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The Victorian farming community has been rocked by three fatalities within three days. The Victorian farming community has been rocked by three fatalities within three days. The Victorian farming community has been rocked by three fatalities within three days.

The death of three Victorian farmers a within three days has Worksafe Victoria pleading with farmers to make safety a priority while they’re out doing the hard yards.

 

On May 22 a man died when his quad bike overturned and crushed him on his property near Merrijig, east of Mansfield. The man, aged 65, was riding the bike up a hill when it overturned.

A crop farmer, aged 49, suffered fatal injuries after getting caught in an air seeder that was being towed behind his tractor on a farm at Marnoo in the Wimmera on May 21.

A dairy farmer, aged 61, passed away when he became entangled under a feed mixer being towed behind his tractor near Echuca on May 20.

WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Marnie Williams says that WorkSafe investigators are making inquiries into each incident and that the three tragedies have left families mourning the loss of loved ones and local communities in shock.

Just 3 percent of Victorians work in the agriculture industry, but suffer almost 30 percent of all workplace fatalities.

"The shocking fact is that farmers are far more likely to die at work than any other Victorian worker," Williams says.

"This is why no one should think that it can’t happen to them."

Williams says that farmers owe it to themselves, their families and their friends to make safety a permanent part of their daily life.

"They work with a range of heavy machinery and attachments, and usually work alone and a long way from help if an incident occurs," she says.

"Because farmers often need to do the same task the same way every day, complacency can creep in and that can prove deadly."

Undertaking simple safety measures can make the difference between life and death, according to Worksafe Victoria.

"Choose the right plant and equipment for the task and make sure all machinery is switched off and disengaged when undertaking maintenance," Williams says.

"Ensure machinery is properly secured when undertaking maintenance underneath."

 

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