Safety first on the farm
OCTOBER is National Safe Work Month and it is a good time to reflect on what we are all doing to stay safe on our farms, and to keep our families and employees safe.
While agriculture is an extremely rewarding and satisfying occupation, it can also be very dangerous with 30 per cent of workplace deaths in Queensland happening on farms.
Off-road vehicles such as quad bikes and side-by-sides are an essential piece of equipment for many farmers, but are also among the biggest cause of deaths.
Over the past 15 years, 69 people have been killed in quad bike accidents in Queensland – almost a third of the national total – and many more have been injured.
AgForce is committed to doing what we can to improve farm safety and we’ve recently formed a partnership with Polaris Australia to help raise awareness of the importance of using off-road vehicles correctly with the appropriate safety equipment.
The partnership will give AgForce members access to safety training and significant discounts on Polaris vehicles, parts and accessories.
It’s about helping farmers stay safe, pick the right tool for the job, and save some money at the same time.
AgForce supports polices that are incentive-based rather than harsh regulatory penalties, and we are teaming up with Polaris to call on the Queensland Government to introduce a quad bike safety rebate program.
With both Victorian and New South Wales farmers having access to safety rebates, we think it’s about time Queensland farmers did too.
We believe State Government rebates towards alternative vehicles such as side-by-sides with integrated roll over protection structures and helmets, would go a long way towards improving quad bike safety on Queensland farms.
AgForce has recently released two tools to help primary producers with their work health and safety and human resources needs.
They are available together as the Employers’ Toolkit or separately as the Safety Management System and Employers Manual.
The AgForce Safety Management System is a comprehensive and integrated system that ensures that all work on the property is conducted safely.
It allows business owners to implement a fully documented, accessible and comprehensible system that monitors and improves safety on farm.
The AgForce Employment Manual provides policies, procedures and templates to help rural businesses with most aspects of employment.
It is designed to complement the Safety Management System in helping producers meet their obligations to employ workers correctly.
More details including the costs and how to order are available on our website at www.agforceqld.org.au.
Your family and your employees are your most valuable assets so it’s important to regularly talk about workplace health and safety, and ensure your systems are up to date.
With good information, instruction and training, your workforce will reward you with a job well done.
STAYING SAFE: AgForce CEO Michael Guerin, Central Bike Centre Emerald Managing Director Ross Drayton, Polaris Queensland State Manager Matthew Norris and Farm and Garden Products Rockhampton Manager Tony Patterson.