Health & Safety

The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) aims to drive sustainable improvements to work health and safety outcomes in agriculture, forestry and fishing through RD&E investment.

The partnership is funded by AgriFutures Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Australian Meat Processor Association, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation.


It is well recognised that the effective management of all risks, including work health and safety (WHS), are necessary for the future sustainability of primary industries.

In continuing support of this, the PIHSP 2013–2017 Plan builds on the Collaborative Partnership for Farming and Fishing Health and Safety Four Year Plan 2008–2012. The plan aims to:

  • Improve physical and mental wellbeing
  • Improve consultation and communication
  • Drive change on-farm and across the sector by developing resources including WHS Manuals and initiatives such as the Farm Safety Video competition.


Farms can be dangerous places. Machinery and farm vehicles, animal handling, chemical use and water on-farm present a range of hazards.

Although there have been significant improvements in WHS, agriculture, forestry and fishing collectively recorded the highest fatality rates of any industry in 2010–2011 with 17.64 deaths per 100,000 workers.

This is nine times the overall fatality rate of 1.93 deaths per 100,000 workers. In absolute terms, of 62 worker fatalities recorded in 2010–2011 across the primary industries, agriculture accounted for 48 of these, equating to a fatality rate of 15.65 deaths/100,000 workers.

In response, the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) undertakes RD&E activities focused on the physical and mental health and safety of farming families, including those working in the fishing industry.

A key outcome of this program is improving the physical and mental wellbeing of these groups. The program will also improve consultation and communication with health professionals and researchers working in the field of rural health and safety.

The PIHSP 2013-2017 Plan sets out the objectives and accompanying strategies for RD&E under the program.

Work Health and Safety manuals

The Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) funds the development of best practice resources to help those working in the beef, sheep and wool industries to implement effective work health and safety (WHS) systems for their businesses.

Including a series of standalone guides, registers and checklists, the resources help producers:

  • Understand, assess and monitor the safety risks on their farms
  • Understand and meet their legal safety responsibilities
  • Build safety plans specific to their farm business
  • Induct new workers
  • Maintain records to improve farm safety
  • Make continuous improvements to farm safety.

While these resources are targeted at beef, sheep and wool producers, some checklists and registers may also be of value to primary producers in other industries.

Compiled by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety and supported by funds from several Research & Development Corporations, these resources are based on more than two decades of discussion and feedback from primary producers.


Jennifer Medway
Program Manager, Research & Innovation
0458 785 905

Related Publications


Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia April 2018


Reducing rates of death and injury in the Australian fishing industry


Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership Information Sheet


Work Health and Safety Planning

Related Resources

PIHSP Work Health and Safety Manuals

A range of work health and safety (WHS) resources have been created to assist those working in the beef, sheep and wool industries to implement effective WHS systems for their businesses.

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PIHSP Five-Year Plan (2017-2022)

The goal of PIHSP is to invest in research, development and extension activities to improve the health and safety of workers and their families in the farming and fishing industries across Australia.


Kimba Area School (SA) Farm Safety Video

Watch the winning entry from the 2017 PIHSP Farm Safety Video Competition.

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Nowra High School (NSW) Farm Safety Video

Meet the runners-up of the 2017 PIHSP Farm Safety Video Competition.

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With the spotlight shining on quad bike safety in an attempt to reduce deaths and injuries on-farm, the humble old tractor has managed to slip under the radar in recent times.

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Quad Bike Safety Innovations

New innovations designed to reduce Australia’s quad bike injury and death toll are an important step towards giving farmers a choice in how they protect themselves.

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