Future proofing a must for local farmers

This month national Farm Safety Week is highlighting the importance of staying safe on farms, particularly into the future, something local farmer Evan Weir says heʼs constantly working on at his family farm.

Farming is a “highly dangerous” industry in Australia, and this month national Farm Safety Week is raising awareness of the importance of future proofing and cutting down the risks farmers face day-to-day.

The annual week runs from July 20 to 25 and aims to raise awareness of farm safety issues in rural

communities across Australia. This year’s theme for the week is ‘Farming for a Future’, focussing on risk assessment and awareness, planning and mitigation — particularly after a year of drought, bushfire, floods and COVID-19. The week also has a strong focus on mental health awareness and support.

According to FarmSafe Australia’s Safer Farms Agricultural Injury and Fatality trend report 2020, agriculture in Australia is a “highly dangerous” industry to work in.

The report found from January to June this year there has been 33 farm related fatalities and 71 non- fatal injuries in Australia.

Victoria had the majority of those fatalities with 10, and six non-fatal injuries.

Quad bikes had the highest number of fatal and non-fatal injuries, followed by tractors. The report also found over 89 percent of fatalities are males.

Just two months ago a farmer had a narrow escape in Rathscar after the tractor he was driving struck a power pole, with the lines collapsing onto the vehicle. The farmer was uninjured but police said the incident served as a reminder to take care on farms.

Local Evan Weir came back to his family farm around six years ago after undertaking a carpentry apprenticeship and said safety was drilled into him as a child, and that small near misses occur relatively frequently on the farm.

For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Friday, July 24

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