Farmsafe Australia is committed to keeping you safer on Australian farms.
Our mission is to improve the wellbeing and productivity of Australian agriculture through enhanced health and safety awareness and practices.
Agriculture consistently ranks among the most dangerous industries to work in. We work in the elements. We work with large animals. We work with chemicals. We work with heavy machinery. We work at heights and in confined spaces. We work with heavy loads. We work alone and in remote locations.
Farming has a very high-risk profile and when you couple that with the fact that farming is a lifestyle, not just a job, and that there is a myriad of cultural behaviours that go along with that, you begin to understand why it is so hard to make farms safer.
Every morning, our farming families wake up early, slip on their boots and hats and walk out their front doors, arriving on the jobsite the moment they take that first step. For them, there is no separation between home and work.
The awareness and assessment of the risks that are inherent on farm is vital to the lives of every member of the family and every employee and contractor, no matter the age, no matter the gender.
To ensure that every boot crosses that threshold as the sun goes down, our farmers need to be equipped with the knowledge and resources that will keep them safe every day of their life.
Farmsafe Australia is here to provide the awareness and resources that will help farmers to be proactive with their safe work practices and inform them on how to make better decisions on a day-to-day basis.
Their job, aside from feeding and clothing this great nation, is to take those resources, that awareness, and those assessments of risk with them, through every step of their day; to make informed choices on what, where, when and how they do everything that they do.
It’s a big responsibility.
The Farmsafe Australia network grew out the establishment of a number of locally based farm safety action groups and state Farmsafe Committees in the late 1980’s. In recent years, Farmsafe Australia’s ability to maintain a significant presence in the farm safety landscape declined due to lack of funding that severely restricted operational abilities.
However, the National Farmers’ Federation advocated for a funding injection and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment stepped in to provide substantial support, through the National Farm Safety Education Fund, to modernise Farmsafe Australia, revitalise the organization and ensure that the critical knowledge and information that Farmsafe provided was not lost.
Today, Farmsafe Australia is the national entity connecting state farming organisations, peak commodity bodies, influential advocacy bodies and other groups that share a common interest in agricultural health and safety. We are 100% not-for-profit.
Over the next three years, Farmsafe Australia will be working hard to enhance our available resources and capabilities to promote and support activities relating to on-farm safety and continue in our efforts to reduce on-farm fatalities and injuries.
We will dedicate significant time and effort to raising awareness of key health and safety issues on Australian farms through media campaigns, advocacy and engagement with communities and stakeholders. As an industry, we need to communicate directly with our farmers about safety and we need to be consistent about the messaging that we are putting forward. As the national body for farm safety education, we need to be focusing the national conversation around emerging trends in the agricultural WH&S landscape and what we, as an industry, can do to turn those trends around.
Our programs and activities are based upon the philosophy that the primary responsibility for farm safety rests with individual farmers, farm workers, and their families. By improving the availability of information on hazards, risk factors and practical safety solutions, farming communities can come together to significantly reduce the risk of injury and illness associated with agricultural production.
We believe that Government and other stakeholders have important roles to play in supporting Australian farmers’ health and safety. This includes setting up mechanisms to support farmers’ individual efforts to improve safety outcomes (for example, by offering rebates for quad bike training and rollover protection – as in NSW and Victoria) and by actively working to identify practices and products that pose an unacceptable risk to health and safety.
The wider rural community can assist in facilitating farm safety action through the development of a ‘safety culture’ within those communities. Local networks of farming families, friends, businesses, and community organisations can all play a part in helping to alleviate some of the pressures of farming life.
We all need to work together to significantly decrease the incidence of injury and fatality on Australian farms.
Safer farms mean safer farmers, and that’s something we all should get behind.