It’s National Farm Safety Week 2020! Farm injuries are common, with farming still one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia. Farmers and their families are exposed to many risks, such as heavy machinery, quad bikes, dams and lakes. However, there are a range of strategies that can be adopted to prevent and reduce the impact of farm-related injuries, including;
- Regularly walking around the farm to assess and remove potential dangers.
- Create a safe and contained play area for young children close to the house and away from hazards.
- Make sure everyone working on the farm is educated on farm risks and trained in first aid.
- Keep all equipment in good repair.
- Store dangerous items such as machinery, firearms and chemicals behind locked doors and store keys in a safe place. Find ways to improve safety, such as fitting roll-over protection (ROPS) and seatbelts to tractors or replacing dangerous chemicals with less toxic varieties.
- Keep a log of injuries and near-misses to pinpoint areas for improvement.
- Consult with other workers and family members on how to improve safety.
- Write a safety plan together that includes ways to identify hazards and minimise potential risks.
- Always use appropriate safety equipment, such as machinery guards and shields, helmets, gloves, goggles or breathing apparatus.
- Make sure everyone understands and uses safety procedures, especially children.
- If using four-wheel motorbikes, make sure they are used in line with the recommendations – remember they are not all-terrain vehicles.
- Display safety messages around the farm.
This year’s National Farm Safety Week theme is “Farming for a Future” and there is a focus on risk assessment and awareness, planning and mitigation as well as a strong focus on mental health awareness and support.
Download Injury Matter’s Farm Safety Toolkit for more information about how your organisation can get involved in the campaign and to see how you can help raise awareness.