17 November 2023
SafeWork NSW is urging farmers across the state to ensure their farms are a safe work environment and they are taking proactive steps to minimise psychosocial hazards in the workplace this National Agriculture Day.
National Agriculture Day is held annually on the third Friday of November and is a chance to celebrate and learn about the essential work our agricultural industry carries out every day.
Farmers and workers in agricultural workplaces continue to be seriously injured and killed at higher rates than other industry sectors, with farming accounting for one in five worker deaths across the state.
This year, SafeWork has set their focus on seasonal workplaces, in particular itinerant worker safety, safety around moving plant, falls from heights and psychological safety.
Tractors, quad bikes, side by side vehicles and machinery are responsible for the majority of farm related fatalities, while augers and harvesting machinery are also a major cause of harm and injury.
There have been two recent incidents in the agriculture industry involving young workers who suffered serious injuries after becoming entangled in unguarded augers.
This month, SafeWork inspectors are conducting proactive visits to oyster farms, wineries and grain harvesting to check compliance and provide safety advice.
SafeWork will also be hosting a free ‘Chat and Create’ event in Tamworth for women in agriculture to promote mental health at work and what it means to be safe on farms.
Eligible farmers are encouraged to access the SafeWork small business rebate, or request a free advisory visit or workshop for practical support to help with farm safety.
You can find out more about National Agriculture Day here.
Quotes to be attributed to Director WHS Services Regional Tony Williams:
“This National Agricultural Day we want the industry to reflect on how it can do a better job of looking after its own.
“Farmers are faced with a number of unique challenges not experienced in many workplaces, from increased financial pressures to extreme isolation, while also being responsible for putting food on our tables.
“Unfortunately, workers in the agricultural sector are overrepresented in suicide and depression rates in Australia, and for this reason farmers must be increasingly aware of their mental state and ensure they are doing all they can to minimise psychosocial hazards in their workplace.”
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