The work-related death of a Western Australian man on Tuesday is serving as a reminder of the need to implement stringent OHS practices.
WorkSafe WA reported that the 48 year-old employee was operating a forklift to move bales of hay at his Narrogin workplace when he was struck by a pitchfork attachment on another machine.
He was immediately airlifted to Perth but passed away on Tuesday night.
WorkSafe sent inspectors to the site to speak with witnesses and assess the circumstances surrounding the death, and to determine what could have been done to prevent the incident.
Lex McCulloch, WorkSafe WA Commissioner, issued a statement on October 23 to express his condolences to the affected family and remind the public that all work-related deaths are tragedies.
With Safe Work Australia Month now edging towards it conclusion, it is concerning to see such preventable deaths still abound in this country.
OHS compliance is especially important for workplaces that rely on heavy machinery and vehicles such as forklifts. In fact, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is the industry with the highest number of work-related fatalities this year, according to Safe Work Australia.
Worker deaths in this industry totalled 37 as of October 21, seven more than the next highest sector – transport, postal and warehousing.
Deaths are still possible even in jobs perceived as relatively safe and free of physical labour, as a fatality has been recorded in both the information media and telecommunications and administrative and support services sectors in 2013.
These have contributed to a nationwide toll of 132 workplace deaths to date this year.
Whether you are an employer or employee, and regardless of which industry you are in, you can help limit the number of work-related injuries and deaths by investing in OHS training for your workforce.
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