Experts urge farmers to plan for safety

There has been a rise in on-farm deaths within Australia, with 68 fatalities during 2017, three more than the corresponding year, with farm machinery the leading cause of death.

The latest Australian Farm Deaths & Injuries Media Monitors Snapshot between January 1 – December 31, 2017 found nine of the 68 deaths involved a child aged under 15 years.

Tractors were the most frequently recorded agent of injury causing on-farm death, with 13 fatalities, this was followed by 11 quad bike deaths and five deaths caused by mobile farm machinery.

Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety centre director Dr Tony Lower said each farm injury death or injury is one too many.

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

“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 focuses mainly on data involving on-farm injury events reported in the Australian print and online media.

There were approximately 36,300 media articles received by the NFIDC from Meltwater during that January to December 2017 period.

The report also found there were an additional 179 non-fatal on-farm injury events reported in the Australian media for that period.

Twenty-two of the 179 injury events involved children aged under 15 years.

There were 39 quad related injuries, which accounted for over 22 per cent of all incidents, followed by 27 horse related incidents, 19 motorcycle related incidents and 19 cattle related incidents.

There were 30 additional quad injuries that occurred off-farm, meaning there was a total of 69 quad related non-fatal injuries nationally that occurred both on and off-farm.