New code to work-related horse injuries

Media Release | 09/12/2016

The NSW Government today announced a new Code of Practice to help reduce horse-related injuries and fatalities among novice and beginner riders in NSW.

The new Code of Practice for managing risks when new or inexperienced riders or handlers interact with horses in the workplace is Australia’s first dedicated Code of Practice to assist employers and workers in the horse industry reduce injuries and meet their workplace safety responsibilities.

Of the 133 fatalities that occurred Australia-wide between 2000 and 2014, 18 per cent involved people under the age of 20.

“The Code will help prevent horse-related injuries and fatalities among beginner and inexperienced riders in the workplace. It aims to ensure that the temperament of the horse and the experience of the rider are adequately matched,” Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said.

“The NSW Government is committed to improving safety for young and novice horse riders and I would like to sincerely thank Juliana and Mark Waugh for their tireless advocacy and leadership in bringing this Code into effect.”

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson, who played a strong facilitative role during the consultations, said the Code would help improve workplace safety.

“Numerous businesses across the state offer horse-related activities and this Code provides them with practical tools to ensure they are complying with their work health and safety obligations and doing everything they can to prevent injuries and fatalities,” he said.

Common safety risks when working with horses addressed in the Code include falling from a horse; incorrect use of riding equipment and tack; and a horse bolting or becoming agitated.

The Code of Practice follows extensive consultation with stakeholders and individuals. It will come into effect on 1 February 2017.

Further information is available on the SafeWork NSW horse safety web page.

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