NSW farmers urged to stay safe during Farm Safety Week

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Farmers in NSW are being urged to take a few minutes to think about their health and safety during national Farm Safety Week.

National Farm Safety Week 2018 runs from July 16-22 under the theme “Innovative, Safe and Healthy”.

Figures from Safe Work NSW show from June 2014 to June 2018, 35 farm workers lost their lives.

The NSW agriculture sector continues to be one of the state’s highest risk industries with more than 7,300 workers compensation claims from 2014/15 – 2016/17. The claims came at a cost of $167 million to the NSW workers compensation system.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director, Tony Williams said SafeWork NSW was working with the agriculture sector, and supply chain to help improve safety on NSW farms.

“The farming sector is vital to the NSW economy, but with 99 per cent of NSW either in drought onset, drought watch or drought affected, SafeWork NSW is very mindful of the challenges farmers face,” Mr. Williams said.

“Through our Agriculture Work Health and Safety Sector Plan, we are working with the agriculture sector to keep farmers, workers, and their families safe.

“We’re doing this by developing products and services that are simple, practical and affordable.”

Mr. Williams said SafeWork NSW was implementing a number of initiatives that are having a positive impact on farm safety.

“Quad bikes are the leading cause of death on NSW farms and SafeWork NSW is leading the way both in NSW and nationally to improve quad bike safety,” he said.

“In 2018/19 SafeWork NSW will increase its investment in its successful Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program to $3.7 million.

“In fact, since its launch, farmers have invested more than $21.4 million dollars in safety improvements.”

Mr. Williams said SafeWork is also a national leader in equine safety, delivering more than 20 workshops across the state on working safely with horses.

“We want all farmers to come home safely at the end of the working day, and that’s why we’ll continue implementing more initiatives to make NSW farms as safe as possible.”

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