Quad bikes /tractors leading causes of death on farms, study finds

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Photo: SafetyCulture Library

There was a slight rise in the annual number of on‐farm injury deaths in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to research conducted by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety.

“Overall, there were 68 deaths reported in the Australian media last year,” Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety Hon. Associate Professor Tony Lower said.

Tractors (13) and quads bikes (11) were the leading causes of death, accounting for over 40% of all the fatalities, according to the results of the study. Tragically, 9 of the fatal cases (13%) involved children aged under 15 years, with the involvement of quads accounting for one‐third (3) of these incidents.

The report also provides detail on a further 179 non‐fatal incidents that have been highlighted in the media, with quads again featuring as the main cause and being involved in 39 (22%) of the incidents.

“These non‐fatal cases are very important as often people will suffer significant injuries that have lifelong consequences.”

“Each farm injury death or injury is one too many, as all cases cause great suffering for family, friends and whole communities.

“Many more deaths and injuries can be prevented by using solutions which we know from the evidence work” indicated Lower.

“These figures emphasize how important it is to have safety as a major priority in your farm business.”

“Planning for safety in the same way that you plan for your crops or stock will go a long way to reducing these incidents and the impacts they have.”

The report is available from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety.

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