THE death of a Victorian man in a quad bike accident on a sheep farm north of Melbourne has sparked a WorkSafe investigation.
WorkSafe said the man, aged in his late 60s, has died after a quad bike he was operating overturned on a mixed farm at Hesket, near Romsey, about 80km north of Melbourne.
The man is believed to have been herding sheep in a laneway at about 6pm on Thursday when the incident occurred. His body was found on Friday morning. WorkSafe attended the scene and its investigations are continuing.
WorkSafe said the fatality brings the number of Victorian workplace deaths to 19 for this year, compared to 24 for the same period last year. Tragically, 10 of the deaths so far this year have occurred on farms.
WorkSafe director of operations and emergency management, Phil Grimson, said agriculture was a high-risk industry, so it was vital that farmers paid attention to safety.
“One of many reasons farmers are at risk is because they often work alone, and if no one knows where they are on the property or what they are doing, no one can get help if something goes wrong.
“While working alone is unavoidable at times, we urge farmers to plan their day so that they can let people know what they will be doing and where. And, just as importantly, stay in touch throughout the day,” Mr Grimson said.
Farmers and other agricultural workers made up just three percent of the Victorian workforce but – on average – made up 30pc of workplace fatalities every year, he said.
More than 50 percent of Australian workplace fatalities in 2017 have occurred in agriculture, WorkSafe said.
“That’s why it is critical that farmers take a few moments before the day gets underway to think about how to do each and every job safely,” Mr Grimson said.