The Agriculture work health and safety sector plan seeks the commitment of industry, supported by the NSW Government through SafeWork NSW, to take responsibility for delivering safer and healthier workplaces.
The farming sector is critical to the NSW economy. Agricultural production 1 in NSW was worth $12.1 billion in 2014/15, representing close to a quarter (23%) of agricultural production nationally ($53.6 billion). The highest value 2 commodities are cattle and calves ($2.3 billion), closely followed by wheat ($2 billion), and wool ($0.9 billion)*. Approximately 80,900 3 workers were employed in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industry in 2015.
Workers in the agriculture sector are at far greater risk 4 of being killed or injured at work than most. While farmers make up just a small fraction of our total workforce, they make up a large number of workplace deaths and serious injuries. Farms often have the added complexity of being both workplace and home to the families that run them.
Hard work and commitment from peak bodies, associations and community leaders, farmers and farm workers supported by government efforts, has in recent year successfully addressed a number of significant issues within the sector such as deaths from tractor rollovers, improving the quality and safety of agricultural plant, improving silo design, improving shearing shed safety and raising awareness of power take off hazards. Major workers compensation claims and worker deaths have steadily declined 5 over the years however progress has been slow and is now showing signs of plateauing. Too many people continue to be injured and killed on farms, requiring renewed efforts to continue to reduce deaths and serious injuries.
The Agriculture work health and safety sector plan (Agriculture plan) seeks the commitment of industry, supported by the NSW Government through SafeWork NSW, to take responsibility for delivering safer and healthier workplaces. This plan will guide the development of practical initiatives to manage risk and drive down the numbers of people being killed and injured, in turn reducing the far reaching impact these tragedies have on close-knit rural families, communities and workplaces.
In these action areas, this plan identifies what will be progressed to bring about change.
I commend the efforts of those involved in developing this plan and look forward to seeing a collective effort in bringing it to reality.
Matt Kean MP
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Member for Hornsby