Your free farm safety checklist
This week marks Farm Safety Week (July 20-25), an initiative of Farm Safe Australia. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on what you can do to ensure the health and wellbeing of people who work on your property.
It’s a fact of farming life that the workplace can be a dangerous one. Hazards that are part and parcel of the job include unpredictable elements, working with animals, and operating heavy machinery. Add remote locations and long hours, and it’s clear that we need to take safety seriously.
A Safe Work Australia report found that in five years (2014-2018), there were 188 worker fatalities in the agricultural industry.
While agricultural workers make up less than 3% of the workforce, they represented 20% of all worker fatalities.
Over the survey period, almost 70% of fatalities in the agricultural industry involved a vehicle. The most common vehicles involved were tractors and quad bikes.
Research from AgHealth Australia has found children make up 15-20% of farm injury deaths.
The main cause of fatality and serious injury in children are drowning in dams (mostly under five years old) and quad bike accidents.
While the figures are startling, the real-life stories are much harder to bear. It’s something we’re all too familiar with at AgriWebb, as co-founder John Fargher wrote about in 2018. Few people who work the land haven’t been touched by on-farm tragedy in some way, and the effects ripple through rural communities.
One of the most important things you can do about farm safety is to talk openly about it. We’ve created a checklist to help to that end. It’s by no means definitive, but consider it a way to focus on issues you might be able to address in your operation.