RURAL DANGER: Disturbing number of worksite incidents

A DISTURBING number of serious workplace incidents across the region have prompted safety advocates to push for better training and preparation for workers on the job.

National figures reveal 83 Australians have been killed on the job since January 1, with 19 of those in the agriculture industry.

Two of those fatalities have been close to home with the deaths of Bill Abraham on July 8, and Jimmy Le on July 30.

A Crowley Vale farmer, aged in his 50s, narrowly avoided critical injuries yesterday when his leg became entrapped in a potato harvester at the Harm Dr property about 7.45am.

He was freed by emergency services and airlifted to Toowoomba Hospital where he underwent surgery yesterday afternoon.

He was last night in a stable condition.

It is understood Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is investigating the incident, the latest in a disturbing number of serious workplace injuries.

In May this year, Ned Desbrow's left leg had to be surgically amputated onsite after he came into contact with three operating exposed augers on a Western Downs property.

Worksafe Queensland said early investigations indicated Mr Desbrow had been sitting on the edge of a feeder bin when he fell in.

Coleyville farmer Gavin Boekel's left leg was amputated when he got trapped in an auger in the Lockyer Valley on May 14.

Ballandean mushroom farm worker Chris Leamy, who lost his left arm and seriously injured his right, is recovering in a Brisbane hospital after the horrific June 17 incident.

"Farm workers are regularly required to manage or use large and potentially dangerous equipment such as tractors and quad bikes," Maurice Blackburn Lawyers' and safety advocate Allison Grimley said.

"They often work in unpredictable and remote environments with little or no emergency assistance, adding to the inherent dangers associated with the farm industry.

"It's therefore vitally important that proper training and safety procedures are in place."

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigations into the incidents are continuing.


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