Farm deaths sparks safety reminder

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Twelve farm deaths in Victorian farms since July 2017 has prompted WorkSafe Victoria to issue a safety warning.

According to recent data, six people have already died as a result of on-farm workplace incidents since January 1, which is half of the workplace deaths that have occurred in Victoria so far in 2018.

The reminder to make safety a priority comes as National Farm Safety Week highlights the many simple things that farmers can do to make their workplaces safer for themselves, workers and family members.

“There is no disputing there are all kinds of risks in farming. The work can be awkward and arduous, it can involve machinery, heavy lifting and dealing with large and unpredictable animals,” said WorkSafe Head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice Michael Coffey.

“But fatalities and serious injuries occurring on farms are also being caused by the way in which the work is being done, or by people not using available safety devices.

“It is people not wearing helmets while riding motorbikes or quadbikes, not wearing fitted seat belts, not making sure guards are in place following maintenance, working too close to moving vehicles, or one person trying to do every task themselves rather than asking for help.”

Mr. Coffey said everyone should make safety a priority to prevent deaths and injuries on farms.

“Experience doesn’t prevent fatalities or injuries on farms. Carrying out the same tasks every day can often lead to complacency and people taking shortcuts to save time or money,” he said.

“But time and money mean nothing to the loved ones left behind.

“Think about the task at hand and how it can be carried out safely. This may mean using the right equipment for the job, calling in specialist contractors, or if it involves working alone, letting someone know where you will be.”

“It is a tragic fact that many people have died after being crushed or asphyxiated beneath quad bikes which have not been fitted with rollover protection devices,” he said.

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