SafeWork SA regrets to inform of a workplace fatality in which a reaping contractor died at Cockaleechie, near Tumby Bay, on Tuesday, 26 November 2013.

While performing a maintenance task on the header, the man received fatal crush injuries when he became trapped between the feeder house and the under-side frame of the harvester cabin during an uncontrolled raising of the header comb assembly.

SafeWork SA work health and safety inspectors have commenced their investigation into this tragic incident.

SafeWork SA Executive Director Bryan Russell said the incident was a tragedy for the man, his family, friends as well as his local and the wider West Coast community.

“We know that farming is a high-risk occupation. The importance of working safely and managing known risks cannot be overstated,” Mr Russell said.

“People working on properties in regional areas face unique challenges, including risks arising from heavy equipment, machinery, fatigue and working alone,” he said.

“The most effective way to eliminate the risk of potential injury is to put safety first and consider the consequences of an injury, or worse, the loss of life,” Mr Russell said.

This is the second farming fatality on the West Coast in two weeks and brings this year’s work-related fatality toll to 14 compared with 17 for 2012.