Review shearing shed safety, urges SafeWork NSW

SafeWork NSW is urging farmers and sheep shearers to review their safety procedures following an incident in November 2017 where a young woman suffered serious head injuries at Gulargambone.

The incident is currently being investigated. The female victim’s hair became caught in the drive shaft of overhead shearing equipment and caused serious head injuries.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said the incident highlighted the dangers in shearing sheds.

“Sheep shearing can be a dangerous work with many physical, chemical and biological hazards,” said Mr. Dunphy.

“Farmers need to carefully plan work, have safe work practices in place and provide adequate training to prevent injuries to workers and visitors.

“Unfortunately, with 349 shearers injured in the three years to July 2016, it’s clear that this isn’t occurring as well as it could.

“Once injured, shearers also take twice as long to get back to work as others due to the seriousness of their injuries, so it’s critical that everyone in the shearing industry works together to improve safety.

“That’s why SafeWork NSW is implementing an Agriculture Work Health and Safety Sector Plan.

“The Plan aims to deliver safer agricultural workplaces through simple, practical, and affordable strategies, and focuses on a number of issues affecting the sheep industry, including musculoskeletal injuries, mental health, isolation, and disease.”

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