This week was Farm Safety Week! A week dedicated to raising awareness and saving lives on Aussie farms.
Throughout the week Farmsafe Australia teamed up with the National Farmers’ Federation to promote awareness of some of the most common hazards on farms (as well as a few of the less obvious ones), and share some hot tips on how to mitigate the dangers to yourself and others.
Why is this so important? Are farms really so dangerous that we need to spend a whole week being reminded of that fact?
In an industry snapshot published last year, Safe Work Australia identified agriculture as having the highest overall number of fatalities in any industry over a five year period, and the second-highest number of deaths per 100,000 workers.
In addition to this, agriculture ranked third-highest over the same period for frequency of serious injury claims per hours worked.
These figures do not take into account the myriad ways that people are hurt and killed on farms in non-work-related incidents each year.
The upside to all of this is that nobody is more aware of the risks farmers themselves. More to the point, nobody knows a specific farm like the person who owns, works and lives on it.
Farms are often homes, as much as they are workplaces. Living on the land that you work has many advantages, but that familiarity can occasionally lead to complacency.
There’s also no denying that farming is hard work, and the stress and pressure of the job can lead to some with some pretty unique dangers of their own.
The bottom line is, accidents happen. Minds can slip and equipment can fail. There is simply no such thing as being too prepared when being caught out could cost a life – whether it be your own, or that of a colleague or family member.
You might look at this week as an opportunity to learn something new, or as a series of reminders to remain aware of the many hazards of farming life.
Whichever way you go about it, we hope that what you take away from this week helps you and those you care about to stay safe on the land.