Racing safety guidebook covers fresh turf

A new WorkSafe guidebook for the racing industry will make it easier for trainers, venues and other employers to keep their workforce safe as a busy Spring Carnival approaches.

Published: 27 September 2018

The Horse Stables and Track Riding Safety guidebook brings together safety guidance for stables, facilities such as horse swimming pools and activities such as track riding, and gives clear examples of safe work practices.

The guidebook, which supersedes a previous edition, was developed with the help of racing industry stakeholders and employee groups.

It covers stable set-up, specific hazards such as those associated with jumpouts and running rails, as well as more general occupational health and safety issues, such as the use of quadbikes and machinery, and traffic management.

WorkSafe Regional Operations Manager Ian Matthews said horse racing was a high risk industry in which safety needed to be taken extremely seriously.

“The horse racing industry combines high-performance sport with agriculture, both of which pose serious occupational health and safety risks.”

“While some hazards, such as the risk of a fall during track work are well known, others such as guarding access to nip points on horse treadmills may not be immediately obvious.”

“The new guide book is a fantastic resource, not only for the number of safety hazards covered, but because it sets out very clearly employer duties and worker roles in keeping everyone in the industry safe.”

WorkSafe has received 1018 claims for injuries from horse racing related activities in the past five financial years, with falls, trips and slips, and being hit by moving objects accounting for 80 per cent of claims.

There were 201 racing related WorkSafe claims in the 2017/18 financial year. Sadly, three people have died in the past five years due to workplace incidents related to horse racing.