We think you are in Victoria. If not please click 'Change'

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

Workplace Safety: Farming and Agriculture

Muddy tyre in agriculture irrigation sprinkler | Shine Lawyers

Everyone knows that Aussie farmers are tough – farming is one of the most physically demanding and varied jobs there is. Unfortunately, farming is also one of the most dangerous jobs there is. In fact, farming and agriculture is second only to road transport in terms of deaths and injuries.[1] In 2016 alone, 63 farmers died.[2] In such a perilous environment, effective workplace health and safety practices are a necessity for every farmer and agricultural worker.

In honour of the upcoming World Day for Safety and Health at Work, Shine Lawyers is seeking to raise awareness for how farmers and agricultural workers can make their farm a safe place of work.

Risk Factors

One of the reasons farm and agricultural work is so dangerous is that the risks are so diverse and varied. Farmers routinely undertake hazardous activities including:[3]

  • Working with livestock – including large and aggressive animals such as bulls;
  • Dealing with hazardous chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides;
  • Travelling via machinery such as quad bikes and tractors;
  • Operating agricultural machinery;
  • Eliminating pests with guns;
  • Working in confined spaces such as water tanks or silos; and
  • Being exposed to the sun for long periods over a number of years.

 

Cattle in the morning | Shine Lawyers

 

Good News

However, it’s not all bad news. Farmers and agricultural workers should take heart because most incidents are preventable with the use of the proper equipment, procedures and training.[4] Over the past two decades, the number of deaths on farms has fallen 65%, a trend credited to advances in technology and safety awareness.[5]

Some simple steps which can significantly reduce risk include:

  • Maintaining your equipment to a high standard;
  • Consulting with other farmers and workers to identify hazards;
  • Regularly survey your farm for potential dangers;
  • Never work without the appropriate safety gear;
  • Thoroughly training farmers and agricultural workers in workplace safety and regularly revising this training.

If you’re seeking detailed advice on how to make your farm a safer place to work tailored to your particular type of farming, there are a multitude of resources, guides and information available. Consider consulting sources such as the Queensland’s ‘Serious About Farm Safety Guide’[6], NSW’s ‘Alive and Well’ compilation of real farmer’s near-death experiences[7] and each state’s dedicated Farmsafe organisation.[8]

Shine Lawyers

Shine Lawyers cares about the safety of Aussie farmers and agricultural workers. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a workplace farm accident, Shine Lawyers’ team of expert workplace compensation experts can help secure the support needed to heal.

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/archived/bushtelegraph/farm-safety/5744758

[2] https://farmsafe.org.au/Farm-Safety-Facts

[3] https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/work-related-injuries-fatalities-farms.pdf; http://www.aliveandwell.net.au/true-stories; https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/farm-safety-risks-and-hazards

[4] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/farm-safety-risks-and-hazards

[5] http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/archived/bushtelegraph/farm-safety/5744758

[6] https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/83778/5564-serious-about-farm-safety.pdf

[7] http://www.aliveandwell.net.au/true-stories

[8] https://farmsafe.org.au/About-the-Farmsafe-Initiative – links to Farmsafe Qld, NSW, Victoria, SA, WA and Tasmania.

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: April 12, 2018.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

There are 0 comments. Be the first!

Workplace Safety: Construction

Heights. Powerful machinery. Electricity. These are just a few of the reasons that construction working is such an inherently hazardous trade. Construction is Australia’s third most deadly industry and fifth most likely industry to cause serious injury, with 35 workers seriously injured every day. [1] Sobering Statistics The leading causes of death or serious injury […]

Read more

Be here for the holidays: Stay safe at work

For most of us, Christmas is a time to take a break from the pressures of work and relax with family. Sadly, for some Australians it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year. According to WorkSafe Victoria, nearly 25% of workplace fatalities occur in the lead-up to Christmas as bosses and employees […]

Read more

Workers compensation claims: Why do I need a lawyer?

Legal jargon is notoriously difficult to understand, requiring lawyers to complete years of study to master the complex language of legislation. For the majority of the population, trying to understand legal rules can be a nightmare.  Workplace injury claims are no exception. Workplace accidents: The legal scheme If you sustain a workplace injury, your life […]

Read more

Fruit pickers, take note

Come harvest time, most Australian farmers are desperate for good workers.  For backpackers fruit picking is a relatively easy job to secure between December and July, but the work itself is far from a walk in the park.  Days are long, with repetitive and physically demanding tasks in very hot and humid conditions. Backpackers, know […]

Read more