The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is encouraging our primary producers to be vigilant when it comes to farm safety and their health and wellbeing during National Farm Safety Week.
Farm Safety Week 2023 runs from Sunday 16 July through to Sunday 23 July.
“Growing up on a dairy farm I understand that multiple safety risks faced by primary producers and the vigilance needed to maintain health and wellbeing of farmers, their families, employees, contractors and visitors”, said Ms Bath.
“Farm safety is complex with many farms being both a workplace and the family home –understanding and mitigating the many risks is paramount.
“Being a farmer is more than an occupation, it’s a 24 hour, seven day a week commitment, performed in all weather and often alone in remote locations.
“Our agriculture workers face many physical and mental pressures each and every day.
“It’s important to look after the physical and emotional wellbeing of our farmers by talking about risk, seasonal pressures, stress, mental health, fatigue management, safe work practices, education, training, and succession planning.
“Our farmers are the vital link to maintaining food security and growing fibre to sustainably supply the textiles industry – creating safer farms and a safe workplace culture is vital.”
National Farm Safety Week is about taking time to hold important conversations about the complexity of farm safety and making it safer for everyone.
Ms Bath said our farmers are the lifeblood of our community, the essential work they perform clothed and fed us.
“Each day farmers encounter high-risk situations through the operation of heavy machinery, handling of unpredictable animals and the use chemicals.
“Statistics tell us that our farms are Australia’s most dangerous workplaces, last year 55 people tragically lost their life on a farm.
“Farm machinery accidents involving tractors and quad bikes dominate the statistics, making up 40 per cent of all farm fatalities.
“Given the importance of the work farmers do, promoting safety, assessing risk, identifying, and talking about the dangers of farm work is an important conversation worth having”.
Ms Bath said living and working in regional communities, The Nationals understand the importance of farmers and maintaining the productivity of our agriculture industry.
“Fatigue and stress can be a contributing factor in accidents and illness for farmers so having regular check-ups with health care professionals needs to be encouraged.
“During National Farm Safety Week, I am encouraging farmers to take stock of safety and their health and wellbeing, as safe farms and well farmers are something we can all embrace.”