National Farmers' Federation

Reminder of the importance of farm safety this World Day for Safety & Health at Work

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and FarmSafe Australia are reminding farmers and their families about the importance of farm safety as part of today’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work. During 2016, 63 people lost their lives as result of on-farm injuries. Farm machinery, including tractors and quad bikes, are involved in 40% of all deaths. “In both 2015 and 2016 quad bikes accounted for the highest number of farm-related deaths overall,” FarmSafe Australia Chair and NFF Workforce Productivity Committee Chair Charles Armstrong said. “Since 2001, there have been 231 quad bike deaths across the country, with 43 of those fatalities being children under the age of 16.” “One of the many virtues of farm life is being able to work alongside your family, including your children. “However, this means that the risk of child injury is greater with increased exposure to potentially dangerous situations.” Mr Armstrong said it was also vital that farmers recognised the importance of their mental health. “It is well recognised that farming is a profession that involves a significant level of pressure. A study commissioned by BeyondBlue confirmed that while farmers do not suffer from increased levels of physiological stress when compared with non-farmers, they were less inclined to seek clinical health and perceived there to be a ‘stigma’ associated with mental illness. “You, the farmer, are a farm’s best asset. If your mental health is not sound, then your quality of life and productivity will be compromised.” Mr Armstrong said on World Day for Safety and Health at Work the message for farmers was the same as that for any other professional. “When each of us goes to work each day, we expect to come home safely.” “It is everybody’s responsibility including the farmer, their family and farm workers, to ensure farm health and safety is treated as a priority and that sufficient steps are taken to mitigate risks.” Resources on how to improve farm health and safety are available at FarmSafe Australia http://www.farmsafe.org.au/

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