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Farm Safety Needs More Attention

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63 people, including 9 children died from farm related injuries around Australia in 2016, according to the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety.

The main cause of injury or death was tractors, farm machinery and quad bikes.

Dr Tony Lower is an Honorary Professor at the Centre and said although slightly less people were affected than in 2015, the prevalence of farm related deaths or injuries is still too high, and more needs to be done to ensure farm safety.

“There’s been a reduction in the emphasis on farm safety nationally – while agriculture is a priority industry, there’s not the dollars and cents to help Producers put good practices in place.

“I think it would be fantastic if we were able to get greater funding to ensure the message is very clearly articulated to farmers about how they can improve safety on their farm,” he said.

He offered the following tips to keep safe around farm vehicles:
  • Understand the vehicle and make sure it’s the right one for the job
  • Don’t compromise safety by using a vehicle that’s not fit for purpose
  • Keep up basic safety measures including wearing a seat belt or helmet

Dr Lower praised the efforts of individuals, telling Flow FM farmers are already doing a great job in making their farms safer for the entire community.

“It’s really positive to see Producers look[ing] at safety not as an add on, but as part of their broader business to make sure it’s looked at in the same way as trying to look after your crops or stock,” he said.

Farm safety is also being encouraged among younger generations, following the launch of a student farm safety video contest.