The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is helping to raise awareness of farm safety and farmer health and wellbeing during National Farm Safety Week.
“Growing up on a dairy farm I understand that vigilance regarding health and safety of farmers, their families and employees should never take a break”, said Ms Bath.
“Being a farmer is more than an occupation, it’s a 24 hour, seven day a week commitment, performed in all weather conditions and regularly alone in remote locations.
“We also must look after the physical and emotional wellbeing of our farmers by talking about risk, seasonal pressures, stress, mental health, fatigue management and farm succession planning.
“In recent years drought, bushfire, flood and a global pandemic have all amplified risks on farms and the physical and mental pressures on our agriculture workers.”
National Farm Safety Week runs from Sunday 18th June – Saturday 24 July 2021 and aims to highlights the complexities of farm safety.
Ms Bath said our farmers are the lifeblood of our communities, the essential work they perform as primary producers, keeps Australians clothed and fed.
“Farmers face many high-risk situations daily. They operate heavy machinery, handle unpredictable animals, use chemicals, perform strenuous labour and work in confined spaces – all in a constantly changing environment,” said Ms Bath.
“Recent statistics tell us that agriculture industry accounts for 50% of all Victorian workplace deaths, despite employing only 3% of working Victorians.
“Understanding safety and assessing risk is an important topic most farmers take seriously, likewise, talking about the dangers and promoting safe farm work practices is a regular conversation worth having.
“Any serious ‘on farm’ accident is a tragedy and affects the individual and their family – an injured farmer is not a productive farmer.”
Ms Bath said the issue of farm safety was highlighted at a recent Nationals State Conference held in Gippsland.
“Recognising the under reporting of farm accidents and ambulance call outs in Victoria, The Nationals moved a motion calling on the Andrews Government to investigate the disproportionate number of incidents occurring in the agriculture sector.
“Fatigue and stress can be a contributing factor in accidents and illness for farmers, which is why it is vital to properly assess risk, but importantly have regular check-ups with health care professionals.”
“Undertaking regular training helps to better understand risks on farm and how to mitigate them,” said Ms Bath.
“During National Farm Safety Week I encourage all our farmers to take time to revisit farm safety and take stock of their health and wellbeing,” Ms Bath said.
Caption: During National Farm Safety Week The Nationals member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is raising awareness of farm safety and why it never should never take a break.