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Meat processing campaign

During 2015-20, workers in red meat (including pork and game meat) processing workplaces lodged over 5,000 injury claims. The type and mechanisms of injuries included:

  • muscular stress when handling objects
  • fractures and soft tissue injuries from being hit by falling and moving objects
  • cuts and lacerations from knives
  • fractures from fall from heights
  • amputation and fractures from being trapped between stationary and moving objects.

Thirty-nine per cent of those injured were young workers, casuals and labour hire.

Campaign focus

To reduce and prevent injuries to workers at meat processing workplaces, during 2022 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) will conduct an awareness and enforcement campaign in Queensland’s meat processing (excluding poultry) industry. The campaign will assess abattoirs (red meat, pork, game meat and pet food), large to medium wholesale/butchers, cured meat and large smallgoods workplaces.

What’s involved

Inspectors’ assessment will encompass a desktop review followed by a walk-through and verification of:

  • systems of work
  • consultative arrangements
  • hazards, risk management and reporting
  • information, training, instruction and supervision
  • hazardous manual tasks
  • fixed plant
  • working at height and falling objects
  • slips, trips and falls at level
  • hazardous chemicals
  • hand tools
  • biological hazards.

Verification assessments will include discussion with all employees (including labour hire and casuals). Enforcement action may be taken if uncontrolled hazards and risks are identified.

Inspectors will also report labour hire providers to the Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit to ensure they are licensed under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (the Act).

Where to get help

Campaign resources and a self-assessment tool are available prior to workplace visits to enable businesses to identify and assess risks and hazards before WHSQ inspectors visit.

The following resources will assist you to improve safety processes and ensure compliance.


Codes of practice

Injury Prevention and Management Program

Take advantage of tailored, face-to-face advice provided by our Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) advisors. IPaM advisors can assist to assess your systems and advise you on how to make improvements. The IPaM service is free for Queensland businesses. Register for IPaM now  to talk to an advisor or email for more information.

Further information

Contact WHSQ at or call 1300 362 128. Information on the labour hire licensing scheme can be found at