Queensland agriculture, forestry and fishing Work Health and Safety prosecutions: repercussions

King, Jemma C., Franklin, Richard C., McBain-Rigg, Kris E., and Leggat, Peter A. (2021) Queensland agriculture, forestry and fishing Work Health and Safety prosecutions: repercussions. Injury Prevention, 27 (Supplement 2). P4.017. A72-A72.

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Context: Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries are among the most dangerous industries in which to work, in Australia and internationally. Australia and its states & territories have robust work health and safety regulation, enforcement and prosecution systems outlined via Work Health and Safety(WHS) Acts (and Regulations), in Queensland the new regulations came into effect in 2011. The acts require employers to provide a safe place of work, to protect workers (via procedures and other mechanisms) and to train workers in matters relating to WHS.

Process: In Queensland, details of WHS and electrical safety law breaches, against which a prosecution and conviction have occurred, are made publicly available.

Analysis: A review of the agriculture, forestry and fishing prosecutions in this public registry was performed focused on incident type, industry and outcomes. Suggestions for system related improvements are outlined.

Outcomes: Since 2014 (at 27 February 2020), 33 prosecutions have been successfully brought against defendants of which a third were due to a death. Penalty costs ranged from $5k to $400k. The common injuries from the incidents included amputation, fractures and crush injuries. Prevention options will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes: The public register exists to serve as a deterrent to others, concurrently discouraging non-compliance and promoting improvements in safety practices and systems. A key consideration when trying to promote safety practice and system improvements is to create meaningful change, whilst also balancing the onerous nature of change. This is particularly pertinent as many agriculture-related ventures in Queensland are small to medium sized enterprises.

Item ID: 67485
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1475-5785
Keywords: Workplace Health and Safety; Agriculture; Injury Prevention;
Copyright Information: (C) BMJ Group
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 01:22
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention @ 20%
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350505 Occupational and workplace health and safety @ 80%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200408 Injury prevention and control @ 100%
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