Farm Safety Week kicks off 20 July across Australia to raise awareness for farm safety across the nation. The theme for its 18th year is Safe Farms = Better Productivity. Reducing deaths and injuries associated with farming is the focus of the week. Farm Safety Week is sponsored by FarmSafe Australia, whose mission is to enhance farm safety practices while improving productivity.
Farmers often look to increase productivity in their work but can still be safe while doing so. One way to do this is becoming aware of work hazards and fixing them promptly. Also, set safety procedures when doing dangerous work that all workers are made aware of and abide by. Finally, prepare for the worst by having a plan in place for incidents.
The theme of this year’s Farm Safety Week targets issues that farmers can tackle personally to take responsibility in order improve health and safety on their own farms. Farmsafe has seen a 60% reduction in farm deaths in the last 20 years as an industry, but says there is more to do. Be sure that all who work on the farm are familiar with how it operates, including children. Twenty percent of farm fatalities are children under age 15, with 30% of child deaths involving visitors on the farm.
Quad and tractor accidents made up 40% of all farm deaths. Since 2010, quads have become more fatal than tractors in farm accidents, primarily due to rollovers. Only ride quads if you have been trained, never carry passengers, and children under 16 should never be allowed to operate. Wear a helmet, and if carrying a load, follow load limits.
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By Stacey Wagner