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Livestock transport

livestock walkway

Falls from livestock crates and trailers during the loading, checking and unloading of stock can result in death or serious injuries needing hospital treatment and time away from work.

In road freight transport in 2010-2012, falls either from a height or on the same level were the cause of 39% of injuries resulting in 10 or more days lost from work (WorkCoverSA income maintenance claims data).

These situations may arise on farms and roadsides, or at saleyards, feedlots, spelling yards, abattoirs, truck wash-down stations and depots.

Livestock transport operators, stockyard and abattoir owners/operators, and those in control of these workplaces, need to ensure the health and safety of workers, including contractors.

Safety solutions to help prevent injuries may include:

  • safe design, installation and maintenance of livestock yards, ramps and gates at stockyards and abattoirs
  • safe design, selection and maintenance of livestock crates and trailers
  • maintaining all plant and equipment in a safe working condition
  • installing fall prevention equipment
  • providing a safe working environment, particularly the separation of people and livestock
  • use of safe work methods and workplace practices
  • consultation with workers when identifying and resolving safety issues
  • having an incident/injury reporting process in place and following up with actions to maintain safety
  • provision of information, instruction and training.

Industry engagement

SafeWork SA is keen to promote safety in the livestock supply chain. We can help make your business safe by consulting with the sector, providing information sessions and leading group discussions with work teams to build work health and safety skills.

From June 2015 SafeWork SA is visiting stockyards and abattoirs to remind stock handlers and transporters of the risk of falls from livestock crates, trailers and ramps as well as available solutions.

Key industry stakeholders continue to be consulted to help improve safety outcomes for the sector, aligning with South Australia's Strategic Plan to reduce injuries in the workplace by 50% by 2022. Findings from the project will inform future engagement with the road freight and livestock industries.