It’s National Farm Safety Week

In 2017, tractors and quads bikes were the leading causes of on-farm fatalities- 68 on-farm fatalities, higher than the previous year which recorded 63.

Quad bike ride-ready
Nine of those 68 deaths involved a child aged under 15 years. An additional 179 non-fatal on-farm injuries were recorded.

This farm safety week, Farmsafe Australia is focusing on innovative ideas and practices to promote a safety culture on Australian farms with a theme of “Innovative, Safe and Healthy.”

Programs and activities of Farmsafe Australia are based upon the philosophy that the key responsibility for farm safety rests primarily with individual farmers, farm families and farm workers.

According to Farmsafe Australia Chairman, Charles Armstrong, farming communities need improved knowledge and practical safety solutions in farm health and safety to reduce the risk of injury and illness associated with agricultural production.

“As an industry we have been improving our safety record, with overall reductions in the number of farm injury deaths approaching 60% over the past two decades. However, we still need to do more.”

“In a time of technological transformation in workplaces, farming too is undergoing a period of exciting technological change as we move into the digital landscape. With this comes a remarkable opportunity for innovative solutions and ideas around farm safety.”

“From digitized safety inductions using QR codes, to design improvements that make farm vehicles safer to operate, through to Personal Locator Beacons that sends a safety alert where something goes wrong in areas with no mobile reception, the possibilities are endless.”

Mr Armstrong stresses that innovation can complement practical steps for farm safety.

“When you are out on the farm, it is important to let people know where you are going and what time you expect to be back so that someone can come looking for you if you are injured. Devices that automate safety alerts when something goes wrong, such as a quad bike rollover can be the difference between help arriving on time, or too late.”

He says driving cultural change toward good safety practices in the industry also inspires innovative approaches such as empowering rural women to take a leadership role in change.

“Farm safety week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate some of these achievements, while also reinforcing key safety messages.”

“It’s about making sure that everyone involved in the farm gets home safe and sound at the end of each working day. That’s a good thing not just for our families but also our business and communities.”

Further information can be found at: www.farmsafe.org.au