Farm safety push in Queensland

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Even small safety procedures have the potential to greatly reduce risks Even small safety procedures have the potential to greatly reduce risks Even small safety procedures have the potential to greatly reduce risks

A program aimed at lowering injury and death rates in the agriculture industry has been launched by the Queensland Government this week.

The campaign focuses on keeping safety in mind when going about farm work, as even small safety procedures have the potential to greatly reduce risks.

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the new campaign, and has said it will work with the government to improve safety awareness within the industry.

QFF president Stuart Armitage says the program is important for keeping agricultural safety in the spotlight.

"Safety in any workplace is vitally important," he says. "Continued government, industry and community discussion on how we all can do better is essential to addressing bad practice and changing entrenched cultural attitudes to farm safety."

Queensland industrial relations minister Grace Grace says the high rate of injury and death in agriculture is significantly disproportionate to other industries.

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"Only three per cent of Queenslanders work on farms, yet nearly 30 per cent of workplace deaths occur on them," Grace says.

"There are around 13 workers who lose their lives in the agriculture industry each year, with a further 1700 injured on the job. 

"It’s because of these figures that we’re running this campaign to spread the message that workplace deaths and serious injuries are preventable."

Armitage says these kinds of situations are unfortunately commonplace in agriculture.

"Sadly in our sector you don’t have to talk to too many people to uncover stories of on farm incidents and tragedy," he says.

"It is heartening, however, to see that in recent years improvements have been made throughout the sector.

"The major theme of the ad safety campaign emphasises the disproportionate number of agricultural workplace deaths and injuries."

The ad campaign will feature Queensland Safety ambassador and former footballer Shane Webcke, who lost his father in a farm accident.

The government has released a resource package which is available online to increase awareness of the importance of safety on farms.

A booklet is also available, which outlines responsibilities and legislation which affects farmers and their employees, as well as a dedicated quad bike safety resource.

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