Farmsafe running National Farm Safety Week between July 20-25

Quad bikes are still one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries on Australian farms. Photo: Shutterstock
Quad bikes are still one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries on Australian farms. Photo: Shutterstock

Next week is National Farm Safety Week, a campaign that aims to remind producers and agricultural employees about the importance of being vigilant on the property.

The initiative has been running for more than 20 years thanks to not-for-profit organisation Farmsafe Australia,.

In 2020, National Farm Safety Week is held from July 20 to 25 with the theme 'Farming for a Future.'

Farmsafe chair Charles Armstrong said agriculture has "dreadful" statistics when it comes to injuries and fatalities, which needs to change.

He said quad bikes remain the leading cause of death on farms, with 10 fatalities so far in 2020. Last year there were a total of eight deaths.

"It's a drastic situation and therefore extremely important we get the whole safety message out there and ensure we have a future for the individual," Mr Armstrong said.

The safety advocate said there should be no debate when it came to whether crush protection devices are needed or not on quads.

"It's ridiculous, it's just manufacturers trying to protect their backsides more than anything," Mr Armstrong said.

"It's unfortunate because we went to a lot of trouble to include them on the development of the ACCC recommendation with manufactures present at nearly every meeting.

"The other factor is they say CPD will kill people, but we say show us the evidence, in about 15 years or thereabouts we haven't had one fatality as a result of the CPD."

He urged those working on farms to being aware of their surroundings and what they are doing when operating machines and chemicals.

"Take a deep breath before they start doing something and in that 30 seconds think about what the risks might be and what they can do to mitigate those risks," Mr Armstrong said.

As farms are a natural environment the risks for an injury or fatality are greater, Mr Armstrong added.

Chemicals and operating farm machinery all have the capacity to not be dangerous on farms if handled with thought and consideration.

"If we can save a life... as a result of the National Farm Safety Week it certainly will have all been worthwhile," Mr Amrstrong said.

If you would like to find out more information on National Farm Safety week or Farmsafe Australia visit www.farmsafe.org.au