Ministers to meet in Griffith for industry roundtable on farm safety


The NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis and NSW Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty will be joined by the Member for Murray Helen Dalton in Griffith on Thursday as SafeWork NSW hosts an industry roundtable to discuss the prevention of workplace fatalities and serious injuries in the agriculture sector.

The roundtable gives government and industry leaders an opportunity to listen to agriculture sector representatives with lived experience on matters of safety and discuss effective solutions to challenges the industry faces in reducing deaths and serious incidents.

Farm work has unique hazards, especially those involving machinery and equipment, including tractors, motorbikes, and quad bikes. But there are many other risks including handling chemicals like pesticides and fertilisers, as well as handling of animals.

Attendees will include members from SafeWork NSW’s Family and Injured Workers Support and Advisory Group, as well as representatives from local agricultural companies and employers, relevant government agencies, unions, NSW Farmers, leading academics, and the Country Women’s Association.

The roundtable will also feature discussions around post-incident support for workers, workplaces, and communities, and will examine effective safety behaviour on farms around the most common hazards seen by SafeWork NSW inspectors.

Find out more about farm safety

Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis said:

“It is a fundamental right for every worker to go to their job and come home safely.

“There are more than 81,000 workers in NSW employed in agricultural industries, including farming, fishing, and forestry. Workers employed in agriculture are at greater risk of being killed or injured at work than most.

“In 2013 there were 149 safety incidents in the NSW agriculture industry which has more than doubled to 358 incidents by 2022. Fatalities are also consistent, with 16 farm related deaths in 2022, 13 in 2023 and four so far in 2024.

“Plant, machinery, vehicles and animals are the biggest dangers in agricultural workplace settings, and businesses and managers should ensure everyone who works in their business is provided with safe equipment and procedures as well as the right skills and supervision, to carry out their work safely.”

Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty said:

“Farm safety is extremely important, there are many hazards unique to agricultural work and it is paramount that workers have the correct protections in place to ensure they are safe at work.

“This roundtable is a great opportunity for agricultural industry members and workers to discuss hazard reduction and safety behaviour they have found to reduce workplace injury and death, and how these lessons can be applied across the industry.”

Member for Murray Helen Dalton said:

“I am excited by the visit of both Ministers to Griffith. Farm and rural business accidents are a major concern to our community. We want to work towards reducing and minimizing injuries and fatalities.

“As the local member I am looking forward to discussing practical solutions to minimise the bureaucratic burden placed on businesses without ever compromising on safety.”

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