Injuries and illness in the Primary Industries sector represent a significant burden on the Australian economy. In 2010-11, Primary Industries had the highest workplace fatality rate (17.64 deaths / 100,000 people), which was nine times higher than the all industry fatality rate (1.93 / 100,000 people). Australia’s Primary industries are among the country’s most challenging workplaces, requiring a range of skills and knowledge to be successful, and including individual enterprises, often operating with small or reduced workforces compared to workloads. While there has been a reduction in the number of deaths, the primary industries sector remains the most dangerous in which to work.
To address this burden, the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) funded a range of health and safety research projects over the 17 years it has been operating, addressing health and safety in Australia’s primary industries. To date, a comprehensive review of this body of research has not been completed. As the PIHSP moves into its next phase of work addressing the challenges of implementing strategies to reduce injury and illness, there is a need to collate previous research findings and identify key lessons, outcomes, outputs and recommendations. The review will highlight areas where future action is required to enhance OHS in the Primary Industries.