As 2017 National Farm Safety Week gets underway, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, has encouraged farmers and rural workers to keep their safety, health and wellbeing front and centre all year round.
“Agriculture is the biggest employer in our rural and regional communities, so farm safety should be a priority for everyone in the sector,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
“From vehicular and tractor safety, to working with chemicals and animals, to dealing with stress and mental health issues or the safety of older farmers and children—farming can be a high risk job.
“National Farm Safety Week is an important opportunity to start a dialogue—both at home and in the workplace—across the farming sector and in regional communities.
“While the government will continue to work closely with industry and peak work safe bodies to address farm safety, it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure farm health and safety is treated as a priority and that proactive steps are taken to recognise warning signs and mitigate any risks.
“One of 2017 National Farm Safety Week’s main focuses is quad and vehicle safety, given tractors, other machinery and quad bikes are the leading causes of deaths on farms.
“In 2016, quad bikes accounted for the highest number of overall agricultural deaths and injuries. Tragically, already this year we have seen a number of farmers killed while riding quad bikes.
“This is why the Australian Government is working with state and territory governments to improve quad bike safety to create a safer working environment for all farmers and rural workers.”
Now in its 19th year, this year’s National Farm Safety Week will take place from July 17–21, with a theme of ‘creating a resilient, safe and healthy ag community’.
National Farm Safety Week is an initiative of FarmSafe Australia, with the aim of raising awareness and reducing deaths and injuries associated with health and safety risks on farms.