There were 73 farm fatalities in 2015 – that is one death every 5 days - and 1 in 5 of those deaths was a child. This figure is half the number of deaths of 20 years ago, but we can and must do better.
In 2015, half of farm deaths were due to incidents with farm machinery, quad bikes and tractors, while the biggest on-farm risk to children is still from drowning.
Agriculture contributes over $50 billion to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product annually. Farming is vital to maintaining our home food production as well as supporting exports. Maintaining the health and wellbeing of those who live on the farm and deliver this bounty is critical.
Identifying farm hazards, developing safe work practices and ensuring all workers, visitors and family receive instruction and training in safety procedures are all steps that can be taken to help reduce farm fatalities. However, to create real change, safety has to become embedded in the farm workforce psyche and awareness must extend to everybody on the property including children.
Visitors to farms must also be factored into safety planning and be made aware of hazards. Sadly, 30% of child deaths on farms were visiting children.
The National Rural Health Alliance has put together an Infographic and a Farm Safety Help Sheet to assist with farm hazard identification and action planning.
Safety should never be taken for granted. One moment’s inattention could leave a family and community devastated.
Be aware and be prepared.
Kim Webber, CEO
0401 006 170