Workshop safety

Workshops are essential on a farm but they need to be safe places to work. Around 15.1% of agricultural fatalities involved powered tools, equipment and appliances in 2010 to 2014 combined. Between 2003-2015, 142 workers (not all agricultural) died as a result of contact with electricity. It is essential to identify any potential hazards and remove the risk. Making the workshop and job as safe as possible can minimise or eliminate the potential for injury or fatality and be aware of which equipment involves greater risk than others. For example portable equipment is particularly vulnerable due to fraying leads and extension cords. Consider non slip flooring to prevent slips.

Having personal protective equipment (PPE) available to wear is best practice in OHS.

There are many potential hazards in a workshop:

  • Badly designed working areas
  • Cluttered walkways leading to slips, trips and falls.
  • Electrical power leads
  • Welding and grinding equipment
  • Power tools – checking guards and cords
  • Hoists used to work on farm vehicles
  • Poor lighting – leading to accidents

Workshops should be kept tidy and clean to prevent slips, trips, falls and other accidents. Regular inspecting and testing of equipment should be done. For more information on farm workshop safety visit Farm Safe Australia.

References used for this topic page

More information:

Safework Australia
Work related injuries and fatalities on Australian Farms

Farmsafe Australia
Farm workshop safety

National Ag Safety Database (US)
Workshop safety

Department of Commerce (WA)
Agricultural safety and health checklist

Research & reviews:

Head and Face Medicine
Penetrating facial injury from angle grinder use: management and prevention [PDF 1.4mb]

Fast facts:

Workshop safety

  • Farm workshops need to be safe work areas.
  • Look at the overall design of the workshop and see if you can make it safer.
  • Identify all potential hazards and use and put strategies in place to minimise or eliminate risk of injury or fatality.
  • Use non slip flooring and steps and provide personal protective equipment for all tasks.
  • Keep children and visitors out of the workshop at all times.

Last updated: 6th May, 2020