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Tuesday 2nd March 2021

Mar 2nd 2021

Tuesday 2nd March 2021

Farmers urged to put safety first. 

Agriculture remains one of Victoria's most dangerous industries despite only employing about two per cent of its workers. Victorian farmers and workers make up about 14 per cent of the states annual workplace fatalities.

In the past three years, 24 people have died in farm incidents, whilst 424 people working in agriculture were seriously injured.

79 per cent of farm fatalities were involved with vehicles over the past decade.

Last month saw two tractor accidents - in one, a woman was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital after being trapped under a tractor. In the other, a man was taken to hospital with leg injuries.

WorkSafe have launched a six-week advertising campaign across all media outlets this week, targeting owner-operator farmers, workers, and their families; it highlights the cost of not putting safety first.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety, Julie Nielsen, said, 'Farmers know their land and machinery like the back of their hand, but that doesn't make you bulletproof'.

Read the full story on The Courier website.

Is COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for workers? 

Information relating to the COVID-19 vaccinations from the Fair Work Ombudsman and Safe Work Australia states that employers can not force their workers to be vaccinated in most cases.

There is currently no state or territory public health orders requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. There is nothing specific in the WHS laws that requires employers to mandate vaccination to meet their duties to eliminate the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.

There is however an obligation for employers to undertake risk assessments and provide for the safety of their workers so the line becomes grey when it comes to issuing directions to employees on vaccinations.

As vaccinations roll out during the year it will be interesting to see how the workplace handles directions from employers to have workers vaccinated.

Many other risk-mitigation measures such as social distancing, face masks and working from home are still available tools for employers to use.

For more legal view points on this, head to the Monaq website.

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