WorkSafe farm safety campaign tells workers “It's never you, until it is”

2 May 2024
WorkSafe farm safety campaign tells workers “It's never you, until it is”

More people die on farms than other workplaces, and maintaining a safe workplace is the responsibility of both labour hire providers and hosts.

Hosts and providers must maintain a safe environment where all workers are free from physical and psychological harm, helping to minimise the impact and frequency of work-related injuries or illnesses

Under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic), providers must comply with all relevant workplace laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

The Labour Hire Authority (LHA) collaborates with WorkSafe and other regulators to ensure employers are providing a safe workplace, including visiting sites and hosting information sessions to educate providers and hosts on their health and safety obligations.

WorkSafe campaign aims to create safer farms

Data shows the peak months for workplace fatalities on farms correspond with the busy sowing and harvest seasons.

Families and communities are reeling from the loss of two lives in workplace incidents on farms already in 2024, taking the number of work-related deaths in agriculture to 34 since January 2020.

Farmers and farm workers who suffer serious injuries also face a long road to get back on the job, with more than 25 per cent of those injured still unable to return to farming one year on from a serious incident.

To address this, WorkSafe have launched a campaign to educate audiences - including labour hire businesses in the horticulture industry - on how to ensure their workers are safe on the job.

The “It's never you, until it is” campaign advertises across regional television, radio, print and digital media to offer practical safety solutions for farmers and encourage conversations around safety.

WorkSafe have guidance and information as part of the campaign available for hosts and workers, to help manage fatigue and other safety issues.

Hosts and providers are encouraged to share this information with their workers and maintain an ongoing dialogue on workplace health and safety, including around fatigue.

Other helpful guidance includes:

Occupational health and safety obligations in labour hire

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, hosts have the same occupational health and safety duties to labour hire workers as to any other employee.

Labour hire providers and hosts have shared responsibilities for worker health and safety, including:

  • providing and maintaining a safe working environment
  • training
  • assessing risks
  • monitoring the health of employees
  • monitoring conditions at the workplace.

They must also ensure the employee is capable and provided with everything they need to do the job safely.

These obligations are a joint effort between hosts and providers, and under the OHS Act they must consult, cooperate and coordinate with one other as much as reasonably practicable, to ensure all duties to labour hire workers are met.

Labour hire providers and host businesses also cannot pass their duties onto one another through a contract.

More information on OHS obligations is available on the WorkSafe website for: