THERE is no doubt farmers need to be mindful when operating equipment in the workplace.
Statistics from WorkSafe Victoria show that despite the agriculture industry only employing three per cent of workers across the state, nearly 30 per cent of workplace deaths occur on farm.
It is a fact that often goes unrecognised, and farmers need to be constantly reminded of the reality that we do a dangerous job that requires precaution.
The Victorian Farmers Federation is taking a proactive approach to farm safety because we care about the well-being of our primary producers.
We want to make sure you have the best information available to run a safe workplace.
That’s why we’re running a $6 million program to encourage farmers to upgrade their equipment.
Quad bikes are the biggest cause of death on Australian farms and over half of those are due to the bikes rolling over – crushing or asphyxiating the rider.
This year alone, there have been eight fatalities caused by quad bike accidents.
The program sends a message to farmers that it is vital that they protect themselves, their families and their employees from the risks of using quad bikes.
Farmers can score a rebate of up to $600 to fit an operator protection device on their quad bike (with a maximum of two available per farm) or $1200 to upgrade to a more secure vehicle.
We’ve given away nearly $2 million in rebates since last October, which is equal to more than 2000 protection devices now keeping farmers safer if their quad rolls over.
We’re still averaging about 50 applications a week.
This is great because it means so many farmers are thinking about their well-being, as well as their family and staff.
Farm safety has also been a constant feature at our Victorian Farmers Federation Farmer Forums.
We want to engage with farmers to raise awareness of safety procedures to help them better manage their obligations.
Further details and information on farmer eligibility for the Quad Bike Safety Rebate program can be found at www.bequadsafe.com.au or by calling the Victorian Farmers Federation on 1300 882 833 for an application.