Workplace manslaughter: Some steps to reduce risk of death from vehicles on farms

Most deaths on farms involve vehicles. Here are some common situations to look out for and tips for vehicle safety.
Last updated

Aug 2020

Reading level

medium

File type and size

PDF, 372.51 kB

Document length

2 pages

What it contains

Workplace manslaughter is now a criminal offence under occupational health and safety laws.

This new law doesn't create additional responsibilities; it just introduces tougher penalties. If you’re already complying with your work health and safety duties, and continue to, you’re doing the right thing. If you’re not complying, and not thinking about workplace risk, the consequences can be much tougher.

Most deaths (about 75%) on farms involve vehicles. Common situations involve tractors, trucks, quad bikes and other vehicles:

  • rolling over and crushing people, particularly if a person has been thrown from the cabin
  • running over the driver while they're out of the vehicle
  • running over another person.
  • and attachments, where people can become entangled - particularly in power take-off (PTO)-driven machinery.

Vehicles aren't the only dangers on farms. Whatever job you and your workers are doing on the farm, always think of safety first. Consider what could go wrong and how to stop that happening, discuss with your workers and take action to make sure you’re providing a safe workplace.