Published: 27 March 2017
Author: John Cramp

Regional workplace deaths exceed Melbourne's dark tally

The number of people who died at work in regional Victoria in 2016 greatly exceeded those who died in Melbourne, according to statistics released by the Victorian WorkCover Authority, or WorkSafe.

Of 26 workplace fatalities which occurred last year, 18 were in regional Victoria. And of these, 8 were in agriculture and a further 5 involved tractors.

The circumstances attending these fatalities is depressingly familiar to me and to my colleagues who have had to deal with the traumatized families of the deceased. 

Among the list of workplace causalities released by WorkSafe are construction workers, and farmers who were injured by farm machinery or on quad bikes.

These are always the most testing and unsettling of cases to handle, and the compensation which we help them access seems poor recompense for the loss of a loved one’s life.

Along with WorkSafe, I would urge everyone working on the land, on construction sites, and in our regional factories to make 2017 a year in which we drive down the awful number of fatalities needlessly suffered in regional Victoria.

Here is a list of some of the fatalities which occurred last year, released by WorkSafe.

A dairy farmer who was electrocuted while working on a submersible pump in a drainage pit at Yarroweyah.

A man who died after the tractor he was driving slid down an embankment into a dam at Kialla West, south of Shepparton.

A farmer who fell off a ladder while doing repair work on gutters of a farm shed at Major Plains.

A worker who died after the dump truck she was driving fell into a quarry at Nyora.

A farmer who died after becoming trapped under the quad bike he was operating at Pomborneit East.

A worker who fell from a front end loader while undertaking maintenance work at Dimboola.

A worker who died after being struck by a Bobcat at a transfer station in Grovedale.

A farmer crushed in a hay baler at a farm at Mt Duneed. He died several days later in hospital.

A worker crushed by metal at a steel fabrication plant at Wodonga.

A farmer who died when he became entangled in a large air drill/seeder being towed by a tractor at Marnoo.

A worker died after the dump truck he was driving fell into a quarry at Rockbank.

A farmer who died after becoming entangled in a feed bin mixer on a farm at Echuca.

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