UnionsWA has welcomed the announced WorkSafe inquiry into work safety in the agricultural industry. The inquiry has been called following recent agricultural workplace fatalities.
Owen Whittle, Secretary, UnionsWA, said:
“There are no workplaces as dangerous as those in the agricultural industry.
“Many factors contribute to these dangers - work with heavy equipment, often being in remote location and isolated from the policing of safety laws, and too often using a workforce that is poorly trained or inadequately equipped for safety.
“A reliance by the agricultural industry on workers in insecure jobs, including for seasonal tasks, is also a factor as those in insecure jobs are fearful of losing work if they make a safety complaint.
"For some time, we have seen Agriculture continue to have high levels of workplace fatalities and significant injuries even adjusting for it having a low level of employment compared to other industries.
“This inquiry is a welcome step.
“Dangerous safety practices in one industry don’t stay there, they encourage a poor safety culture as working people, supervisors and businesses move across sectors.
“These poor practices cost lives and cause serious injury as well as imposing costs that are a burden to all businesses and working people."