Death highlights tractor risks

LAST SATURDAY a young man was killed in a tractor-related accident on a Levenstrath farm – a tragic incident which has highlighted the potential dangers of working around heavy farm machinery.

Although the exact details are not known, it is believed 20-year-old Josh Williamson had propped a four wheel drive up using the front scoop of a tractor in order to change the vehicle's tyres.

Something went wrong though and the tractor rolled forward onto Mr Williamson, killing him, it is believed, almost instantly.

Unfortunately this kind of story is all-too-familiar to John Temperley who is the executive officer of Farmsafe Australia, an organisation advocating safe work practices on farms.

“Tractor-related incidents are one of the leading causes of deaths and injuries on farms,” Mr Temperley said.

“It's predominately from tractors rolling-over and people being run-over by them.”

According to a recent Farmsafe report, there were 44 farm-related deaths in Australia in 2010 alone, seven of these involving tractors.

Mr Temperley said the heavy weight of tractors combined with exposed shafts and machinery made the vehicles potentially deadly if not treated with caution and respect.

He said it was important for people to be mindful around heavy farm equipment, be aware of the possible risks, fit a roll bar to tractors and ensure all exposed shafts and inner machinery were properly guarded.

For more information visit farmsafe.org.au or workcover.nsw.gov.au.



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