Farm fatalities still big issue
THE number of fatalities on farms has dropped enormously in the past 20 years, but Richard Franklin says there’s still a long way to go.
The yearly average of fatalities dropped from 146
Richard Franklin: Safety is even more important for these people.
deaths 20 years ago, to 73 in 2015, but Farmsafe Australia said this was still far too many.
This week marked Farm SafetyWeek, a week which aimed to draw attention to injury and death on the land, and how to prevent it.
In 2015, farm machinery, quad bikes and tractors were the leading causes of non-intentional farm injury death, accounting for 50% of all cases.
In 2016 alone, 30 deaths were recorded on farms across the nation before June 30, eight at the hands of machinery, four from tractors, and three from quad bikes.
Farmsafe Australia’s Richard Franklin said integrating safety into daily life on the land did not have to be an onerous task.
“First and foremost people want to get the job done, but safety doesn’t need to be an add on,” he said.
Mr Franklin said businesses had a responsibility to ensure safety of employees and put appropriate risk control measures in place.
But he said safety meant more than just following procedures, especially on the land.
“Safety is even more important for these people,” he said.
Mr Franklin said a lot of men ran a farm on their own.
“Their whole family is riding off their business, if something happens to them then their business is out of action,” he said.
“They might not get their crop in, might lose all money coming in.
“The impacts are so much greater.”
Mr Franklin said men often took on bigger risks, in an effort to get the job done quickly.
“As males we do it all the time,” he said. “We take on that risk.” But on the back of Farm SafetyWeek, he urged people to reassess what was really important.
To learn more about farm safety, visit www.farmsafe. org.au.