The death of a farmer on a property near Cobden last night brings to seven the number of people killed in a horrifying three-week period in Victorian workplaces.
The man’s death has led WorkSafe to renew its calls for all workers to take extra care in the lead-up to Christmas.
“It is extremely concerning that so many people have died at work in such a short period of time and we call on all employers and employees to do everything they can to prevent any further tragedy,” WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety Marnie Williams said. “Everyone must make safety their absolute priority.”
The farmer, 49, was found last Sunday last night underneath a quad bike on a property at South Purrumbete, east of Cobden, in Victoria’s southwest. WorkSafe is investigating the incident.
There have been six other workplace deaths in Victoria in November:
19 November: A 42-year-old man fell to his death while removing a downpipe from a two-storey home at Hamlyn Heights in Geelong.
12 November: A 25-year-old refrigeration mechanic was electrocuted while doing maintenance work on an air conditioner at a factory in Braeside, and a 29-year-old worker was killed at a business in Keysborough when a piece of equipment fell off a forklift and crushed him.
10 November: a 76-year-old farmer was crushed by his tractor after it rolled over at Loch, in South Gippsland.
9 November: A 64-year-old contractor died in an explosion at a housing development site at Harkaway in Melbourne’s outer east.
4 November: A 76-year-old farm worker was electrocuted while maintenance was being undertaken on a pump at a farm at Anakie, near Geelong.
According to WorkSafe statistics, November and December is the most dangerous time of year for Victorian workers.
“Our figures show that since 2005, almost 25 per cent of all workplace fatalities have occurred in the final two months of the year,” Ms Williams said. “Of the 23 workplace fatalities in 2014, seven occurred in November and December, which is almost a third. “So we are asking everyone to take the time every day to plan their work safely.”
Ms Williams said it was an utter tragedy that Victorians were still losing their lives at work. “Returning home safely to family and friends is the right of every single worker and these incidents should just not be happening.”
Ms Williams said that while the build-up to Christmas was a busy period for every workplace, it should never be a dangerous one.
“We know that many businesses are rushing to finish projects so deadline pressures may be a factor, and we know that many fatalities involve experienced workers doing routine jobs, particularly on farms,” she said.
“It only takes seconds for things to go very wrong, so please consider each job before starting.
“The simple fact is that every workplace fatality is preventable. If employers have the safe systems in place to protect their workers, if people stop to plan each day with safety in mind, and if everyone works together to identify and eliminate or reduce risks, then workplace fatalities can be prevented. “The upcoming Christmas holidays should be a time of joy. It should not be a time families are mourning the loss of a loved one who has died at work.
“So please, everyone, take time every day to make workplace safety your absolute priority.”
Source: Worksafe Victoria News