WorkCover promotes safety improvements in the livestock saleyard industry

WorkCover NSW together with the cattle saleyard industry is delivering on their commitment to improve safety in the industry as a program of visits to saleyards across the state is launched.

An Action Plan was developed after a Narrabri stock handler was killed in 2010 when he was hit by a cattle saleyard gate as it was struck by an animal.

WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division General Manager, John Watson, said the Action Plan will promote and support safety improvements in the NSW livestock saleyard industry.

“This industry is a vital part of the NSW economy with 2.1 million head of cattle sold at saleyards during 2009/2010,” said Mr Watson.

“This program aligns with one of our current focus industries, sheep and beef cattle – an industry where safety improvements can be made.

“The most common incidents involve workers being hit by cattle as well as manual handling injuries and slips, trips and falls from vehicles.

“As industry deals with work health and safety risks on a daily basis, it’s vital it remains a partner in the development of any improvements.”

A workshop was conducted in July 2011 to tackle safety issues in saleyards. This led to the establishment of the Action Plan which involves saleyards undertaking safety assessments and putting in place improvement plans.

“It’s now time to see what change is occurring and review safety in NSW saleyards,” said Mr Watson.

“The findings of the visits will be passed on to industry and used to further improve safety with the aim of ensuring saleyard workers can return home safely at the end of a hard day’s work.

“Any safety improvements that reduce the likelihood of injury will have appositive effect on industry competitiveness and the NSW economy.”

Executive Officer of the Australian Livestock Markets Association Incorporated, Anthony White, expressed their commitment to improving safety at their sites.

“The members of Australian Livestock Markets Association Incorporated are committed to constant improvement of safety at their sites. This will be achieved by working closely in collaboration with agents, carriers, vendors and regulatory authorities across Australia,” said Mr White.

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