There is no doubt farms are some of the most dangerous places to work.
In an industry snapshot published last year, Safe Work Australia identified agriculture as having the highest overall number of fatalities in any industry over a five-year period, and the second-highest number of deaths per 100,000 workers.
In addition to this, agriculture ranked third-highest over the same period for frequency of serious injury claims per hours worked.
Farmsafe Australia said the upside to all of this is that nobody is more aware of the risks farmers themselves. More to the point, nobody knows a specific farm like the person who owns, works and lives on it.
Farms are often homes, as much as they are workplaces but living on the land that is also where a person works can occasionally lead to complacency.
There's also no denying that farming is hard work, and the stress and pressure of the job can lead to some with some pretty unique dangers of their own.
One area the NFF and Farmsafe Australia are focussing on is trying to reduce the risk of being injured while isolated.
Both organisations promote the following steps to help manage the risk of being caught out injured, stranded and cut-off:
- Avoid heading out on your own wherever possible. Not only is it nice to have an extra pair of hands to make lighter work, but if something should go wrong, it's more likely that one of you will be able to offer assistance or head for help.
- Where it isn't convenient or possible to have a second person accompany you, make sure you let somebody know where you're going, what you're doing, and when you intend to be back. The more details you provide, the faster they'll be able to get help to you if something happens.
- Consider assembling a field kit containing everything you might need handy if you run into trouble when you're out on the farm. Include items like a hand-held radio/walkie-talkie or satellite phone, first aid equipment and a multitool. Bring the kit along whenever you're ranging far.
More information on farm safety can be found at: