Work-related incidents still account for over 14.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers in the Australian agricultural industry, according to Safe Work Australia's 2016 Work Health and Safety in the Agricultural Industry report. Despite a 24 per cent drop in the number of fatalities, that number is well behind the national average.
According to the report, sheep, beef cattle and grain farming is the largest portion of the industry and accounts for the highest number of fatalities. However, in terms of fatality rate, the farming category came in second to the agriculture and fishing support services, which saw more work-related deaths than any other division of this national industry.
However, many of these serious incidents can be easily prevented simply by choosing the right flooring materials and barrier equipment. Here's why:
Falls, trips and slips make up a large portion of accidents
Within the agricultural industry, falls, trips and slips made up 23.1 per cent of serious injury claims, higher than the national average of 22 per cent. Starkly, falls from a height were much higher than the national average, with nearly double the amount of claims.
These figures are understandable when you consider the environments of some of these industries. Take fishing and agriculture, for example - an industry the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources says employs over 8,000 people nationally. Hazards including wet, unstable surfaces, vessel pitch and hazardous objects are some of the daily obstacles these workers face. It may explain why this industry is over represented in the number of fatalities in the Safe Work Australia report.
Choosing the barriers and walkways can go a long way to removing hazards in the first place
While Safe Work Australia recommends several personal and administrative ways of reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls, choosing the right barriers and walkways can go a long way towards removing many of these hazards in the first place.
Preventing slips and falls with the right equipment
At Webforge, our range of Webplate and WebGrip Anti-Slip products have high-impact resistance and anti-slip properties to overcome oily and wet surfaces that are customisable to meet any application. Webforge also offers safety barrier systems in mild steel, stainless steel or aluminium base materials that suit various environmental and application requirements.
In 2014-2015, the Australian agricultural industry was worth over $53 billion according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with the government reporting that it employs over a quarter of our workforce. It's a vital part of our economy, yet it doesn't have to be such a dangerous one.
To find out more about how our range of products can help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls, get in touch with our team today.