Time to put our workers and families in Safe Hands

Time to put our workers and families in Safe Hands


Farm Online News
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34 people have lost their lives on Australian farms so far this year. It's a sobering statistic worth reflecting on during Farm Safety Week.

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Editorial 

Penelope Arthur, Richmond Downs, Roma, is the Australian Community Media National Agricultural News Editor.

Penelope Arthur, Richmond Downs, Roma, is the Australian Community Media National Agricultural News Editor.

Every now and then, a story or a campaign comes along that really makes you stop and think.

For me, that's Safe Hands.

For the second year in a row, Australian Community Media has published a special lift-out and micro-website to coincide with Farm Safety Week which starts today.

For one week a year, the farming community comes together to shine a light on a very real and deadly threat lurking in agriculture.

Farming remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the country.

Since 2001, more than 1400 people have lost their life on a farm due to a non-intentional injury.

The latest statistics, provided by AgHealth Australia, show in the past six months alone (January 1 to June 30) a total of 34 on-farm deaths were reported - an increase of four deaths during the same period in 2018.

Of those deaths, quad bikes accounted for seven, tractors three, and motorbikes three.

Males were involved in 33 of these cases (97.7 per cent) and six deaths involved children aged under 15 years.

Farm injuries also remain a real concern, especially when you consider the impact of some farm accidents will last a lifetime.

For the same six-month period, 67 non-fatal farm injuries were reported in the Australian media. Of these, 13.4pc involved children under 15 years.

Quad bikes (14 injuries) were the leading cause, followed by horse accidents (10).

The statistics paint a sobering picture and beg the question - are we doing enough?

We all know farms are dangerous places.

Many, including myself, choose to live on a farm and raise our children there.

It is my heartfelt hope that publications and campaigns like Safe Hands continue to play a role in raising awareness of the many dangers on farms so more lives can be saved.

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