A total of 14 people died in on-farm incidents last year, the worst figures in more than a decade, leaving WorkSafe Victoria pleading with people to improve safety at work.
The statistics come after a tragic start to the year following the death of a stock agent in his 50s who was trampled while drafting cattle on a farm at George’s Creek near Albury-Wodonga on January 4.
WorkSafe’s head of operations and emergency management Adam Watson said the 2017 toll showed employers and workers needed to think more constructively about what they could do to improve safety at work.
He said that while the circumstances of each fatality varied, the failure to identify and adequately manage hazards was a common theme, especially on farms and where vehicles were involved.
‘‘Employers, particularly those using farm vehicles such as quad bikes, need to remind their workers to recognise risks and prioritise safety before attempting a task,’’ Mr Watson said.
‘‘Age and experience can never be an excuse to forget about safety. Nine of the people who died last year were over the age of 65, and 23 were aged 45 or older.
‘‘Many of those who died were doing tasks they have done many times before, so it is important that everyone takes the time to plan their day with safety in mind.’’