Farm fa­tal­i­ties still big is­sue

Central and North Burnett Times - - THE FENCE POST - Kate Dar­vall kate.dar­vall@south­bur­nett times.com.au

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.

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