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It's National Farm Safety Week



National Farm Safety Week aims to raise awareness of farm safety issues in rural communities across Australia. This year’s theme for Farm Safety Week is “Innovative, Safe and Healthy” and focuses on innovative ideas around farm safety.

“Farm safety is something that we often take for granted, of course no one wants to be injured or see others injured” stated Farmsafe Australia Chairman, Charles Armstrong.

“As an industry we have been improving our safety record, with overall reductions in the number of farm injury deaths approaching 60% over the past two decades. However, we still need to do more.”

In 2017, tractors and quads bikes were the leading causes of on-farm fatalities. Tragically, there were a total of 68 on-farm fatalities, higher than the previous year which recorded 63. Nine of those 68 deaths involved a child aged under 15 years. An additional 179 non-fatal on-farm injuries were recorded.

This farm safety week, Farmsafe Australia is focusing on innovative ideas and practices to promote a safety culture on Australian farms.

Mr Armstrong said “In a time of technological transformation in workplaces, farming too is undergoing a period of exciting technological change as we move into the digital landscape. With this comes a remarkable opportunity for innovative solutions and ideas around farm safety” stated Mr Armstrong.

“From digitized safety inductions using QR codes, to design improvements that make farm vehicles safer to operate, through to Personal Locator Beacons that sends a safety alert where something goes wrong in areas with no mobile reception, the possibilities are endless.

“Innovation can complement practical steps for farm safety. When you are out on the farm, it is important to let people know where you are going and what time you expect to be back so that someone can come looking for you if you are injured. Devices that automate safety alerts when something goes wrong, such as a quad bike rollover can be the difference between help arriving on time, or too late.

“Driving cultural change toward good safety practices in the industry also inspires innovative approaches such as empowering rural women to take a leadership role in change.

“Farm safety week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate some of these achievements, while also reinforcing key safety messages, stated Mr Armstrong.

“It’s about making sure that everyone involved in the farm gets home safe and sound at the end of each working day. That’s a good thing not just for our families but also our business and communities.”

Further information can be found at: www.farmsafe.org.au or by contacting Farmsafe Australia on (02) 6269 5622 or your state Farmsafe group.

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