Farm Safety Week provides a pertinent reminder
Last week was national Farm Safety Week and it was a timely reminder for farmers about the dangers that come with operating farm plans and machinery.
According to a recent report released by Agrifutures and AgHealth Australia, aquaculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries to work in, prompting the call for growers to stop and think of how they can prioritise the safety, health and wellbeing of themselves and others.
The report highlighted these dangers with 21 on-farm deaths being reported in the first half of last year, and since
2001, more than 1650 people have lost their lives in farm accidents across Australia, with tractors and quads being the leading cause of fatal injury and involved in 40 per cent of all deaths.
#PlantASeedForSafety founder Alex Thomas spoke at the Ramsey Bros and Case IH Ladies Day in the region earlier this year where she reminded rural women of the importance of talking about farm safety in order to make their homes and properties safer places.
Ms Thomas also said common sense prevailed when it came to farm safety.
“Farmers are the experts in their farms, their people and their machinery and know it better than anyone else does. They know what to look for, what to listen for, what’s safe and what’s not and they’re in the best possible position to know what needs to be fixed, replaced or otherwise maintained,” she said.
“The greatest opportunity lies in actively prioritising the sorts of things that could have a direct impact on health and safety, for example broken safety devices, a missing guard, faulty brakes, the need for something to be re-calibrated, all before coming into a busy period.
“I can’t understate the importance of not only talking the talk, but walking the talk – if not for yourself, for those around you, and especially for our younger people. Fatigue is a huge challenge.
If you’re not taking a break, why should anyone else?”
“It’s only human to run on autopilot, especially when the pressure is on… however conversations about what could go wrong, how it could go wrong and what you’re going to do about it can be a great circuit breaker.”
The Grains Research and Development Corporation industry and government relations manager Maxie Hanft said as an industry it was important to talk about safety and be aware of the statistics.
She also said it was important that we focused on the actions we take to reduce risk factors with practical safety
solutions to ensure that those living and working on farms were safe.
Originally published in the Eyre Peninsula Advocate on 27/07/23.