There is no doubt the statistics surrounding farm safety are frightening and place in clear focus the need for farm safety to be improved.  As producers, this is our responsibility.

This week is National Farm Safety Week and is designed to place farm safety at the forefront of rural Australia's agenda.

In 2014, the Week's theme is Safe Farms - Healthy Farmers, and seeks to focus on the practical issues that farmers can take to improve safety for themselves, their workers, family members and farm visitors.

Farmsafe Australia Chairman, Charles Armstrong, said farm safety is often something taken for granted in the rural sector.

"As an industry we have been improving our safety record, with reductions in the number of farm injury deaths approaching 65 per cent over the past two decades, however, we still need to do more," Mr Armstrong said.

Mr Armstrong said having safety as a major aspect of a business will not only reduce risk, but also improve the bottom line.

"Even non-fatal injuries can have major cost implications on things such as delays in harvest, damage to equipment and downtime needed to recover from injuries."

Mr Armstrong said the release of a new farm safety induction app is one step towards a brighter future.

"Farmers can work through the induction with one or more new workers," he said.

"When completed, a record of the induction and what it covered is emailed to both the farmer and the worker. It's a big step in making the process of safety induction and record keeping easier."

Mr Armstrong said Farmsafe aimed to make farming both profitable and safe.

"We can do both if safety is promoted as a core value for your business," Mr Armstrong said.

"It's about making sure that everyone involved in the farm gets home safe and sound at the end of each working day. That's a good thing not just for our families but also our business and communities."

Other practical steps that farmers can take to have safety as a core value include:

  • Have a safety plan in place that identifies potential hazards and take action to fix these.
  • Always be on the look-out for new hazards and fix these as soon as possible once identified.
  • Set clear safety procedures for risky work
  • Make sure everyone that works on the farm understands and uses the safety procedures you have
  • Have an emergency plan in place in case there are any incidents

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