It takes as little as a minute for farming to turn lethal or life-changing beyond belief, according to Australia’s leading online farming community, Rural Resources online, who urged farmers to stay safe and stay well as they mark Farm Safety Week 2017 from July 17 to 21.
Organic beef producer and Rural Resources Online founder Brigid Price explained the combination of long hours, heavy machinery, chemicals and extreme weather created a unique environment where danger was a commonplace and everyday reality.
“Agriculture combined with fishing and forestry remains Australia’s most dangerous industry to work within,” Ms Price explained. “Each year we lose family members and loved ones to a lifestyle we love but where the risks are inherent.”
Ms Price noted Safework Australia statistics indicated between 2010 and 2014:
- 221 fatalities occurred in the field of agriculture
- More than one in five workers who died at work worked in agriculture.
- Agricultural vehicles like tractors and quad bikes, accounted for 82 of those worker deaths.
- In 2015, 40 fatalities occurred on farms
- Agriculture workers represent 2.1% of the workforce but 21% of fatalities.
And she shared a personal insight into the devastating impact a single accident may have on a family, community and beyond. In 2012 her father-in-law suffered a tragic injury after an incident in the cattle yards.
“My father-in-law was following a young bull when it got spooked and turned to run past him. On the way past it stood on his toe as he was stepping back causing him to fall to the ground and land the wrong way. He was knocked out. What we did not know until later was that his fall broke his brain stem. This man was a husband, father, grandpop, brother, neighbour, friend and much more.”
She continued the message to farmers was: Be aware of the risks, take whatever steps possible to avoid them, and ensure they have Workplace Health and Safety measures in place to protect themselves physically and financially.
“Australian farms are often run by families. Accidents can therefore be especially traumatic. Landholders can be fined, have civil action taken against them and potentially lose their farm. Financial loss is one thing. Losing a member of your family or community is devastating.”
For more information about agricultural Workplace Health and Safety, see Rural Resources Online.
For further information or to interview Brigid Price, contact:
Linda Reed-Enever at ThoughtSpot PR: 0433 149 319
Brigid Price at on 0439 575 092
About Brigid Price and Rural Resources Online
As a city girl turned farmer’s wife, Queensland beef producer Brigid Price is proud to call Rural Australia home. Now she’s helping it find its shared voice through an online initiative that’s fast becoming the modern day “bush telegraph” for the nation’s farmers.
Brigid is the creator of Rural Resources Online, a comprehensive website that unites Australian farmers through resources, shared knowledge, expert skills, and the all-important stories of community and spirit encapsulated by life on the land.