LSA Safety Alert: Farm Safety Week resources

  • Date: 25 Jul 2016
  • Categories: WH&S

Great Farm Safety Resources . . .

Go to the farmsafe.org.au site or http://bit.ly/2abLFPg or:

Ag Health resources at

http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/aghealth/farmers/index.php or http://bit.ly/2a7b6yF

National Farm Safety Week

National Farm Safety Week is an annual event held across Australia during July and aims to highlight the importance of safety on farms.

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Safe Farms = Profit’ and 2016 National Farm Safety Week has run from July 18-22.

This year’s focus has been on practical measures that farmers can take to improve their own safety and that of other people working on farms.

The event is an initiative of FarmSafe Australia, an organisation that brings together national agencies that share a common interest in farm safety.

Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia and accounts for one-quarter of all workplace fatalities.

During Farm Safety Week, FarmSafe encourages all Australians to take part in activities that promote health and safety of farm workers.

There are a number of farm safety resources that have been compiled by Farmsafe Australia and the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety to assist farmers in their own operations.

Go to the farmsafe.org.au site or http://bit.ly/2abLFPg or Ag Health resources at http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/aghealth/farmers/index.php or http://bit.ly/2a7b6yF

Take the time to have a look through the material available to see what safety measures you can improve upon in your own operation.

Agriculture has been recognised as a priority industry under the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 and Safe Work Australia is working on a number of national projects to increase safety in the sector.

Recent figures from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety show 30 people have been killed in farm-related incidents and a further 44 seriously injured in the first six months of 2016.

“These figures are slightly higher that the same time last year, when we had recorded 24 deaths in the period”, said Centre Director Dr Tony Lower. “Putting aside the figures the human toll is the real issue, as behind every one of these cases there is an individual, a family and a community that has to manage the unnecessary loss of a loved one or friend.”

“Consistent with recent year’s, quads, tractors and other mobile equipment have been the leading causes of fatal injury. Quads have also dominated the non‐fatal injuries reported, making up almost 50% of these cases, many of which have lifelong consequences.”

“Alarmingly we have seen almost a quarter of all cases (seven), involving children 15 years of age and under.”

“We know that there are highly effective ways to control risks and prevent needless deaths and injuries. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we need to take these steps before issues arise. In this way, we will not only save lives and serious injuries, as an industry we will be more productive.”

Common hazards on farms include:

  • Machinery- these include chainsaws, tractors, harvesters and machinery with unguarded moving parts.
  • Electricity-main hazards of working with electricity include electric shocks, overhead power lines, defective switches and machinery.
  • Heights-hazards include fall from ladders
  • Weather- heat stroke and sunburn are some of the weather related hazards.
  • Chemicals-Chemicals such as pesticides can cause poisoning
  • Animals- injuries caused by animals include bites, trampling and crushing.
  • Vehicles-falls from tractors, quad bikes and horses can result in serious injuries.

Farm-related injuries and fatalities can be reduced by assessing the risks and minimising them.

Better farm education, ensuring machinery is well maintained, putting in place safety procedures as well as training all farm workers and family members about potential risks are some of the ways of minimising injury risks on farms.