Industry leaders urge the farming community to address safety issues on farms

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With figures from Safe Work Australia showing that agriculture is still one of the most dangerous workplaces, an industry leader urged farmers to improve work safety record.

There were 44 fatalities from the agriculture sector in 2016. It also garnered the most serious claims for work-related injuries (per million hours worked).

Just last week, a 47-year-old man died in South Australia after he was crushed by a grain silo on an Eyre Peninsula farm.

Grain Producers Association chairman, Wade Dabinett said farmers and farm workers should make safety a priority.

“We do have to improve our culture [as] there are a lot of members that don’t think this is necessarily industry’s space,” he told ABC.

But we are here to try and help everyone improve.”

Quad bike deaths this year have also surpassed the number of fatalities for all of 2016. So far this year, 10 people have been killed in quad bike incidents in Australia. Half of the fatalities occurred in New South Wales, while Queensland and Victoria accounted for two fatalities each. The remaining one fatality occurred in South Australia.

Mr. Dabinett said there are many risks that a farm worker will face.

“A farmer could be fixing the fence one minute, shearing the sheep the next. It is almost impossible to cover off all the risks, so accidents will always happen,” he said.

In a recent interview, the chairman of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership, Patrick Murphy said the alarming fatality rates in the country should be addressed.

“This is an issue that every level of the farming community – from managers on the land to policymakers – need to start better exploring collaboratively to improve behavior change that can influence a marked reduction in the fatality figure,” he said.

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