Held in the third week of July each year (July 18 - 24), National Farm Safety Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of safety on farms and to help reduce the number of injuries and deaths faced by rural communities.
This year's theme is 'Recipe for Averting Disaster', and chair for Farmsafe Australia, Felicity Richards, said it was a creative step to highlight farm safety and get farmers and rural communities more involved.
"Our farmers produce some of the most amazing, high-quality food and fibre in the world," she said. "This year's theme came from the idea that Farmsafe offers the 'ingredients' to keep farmers safe at work, and in doing so, we avoid accidents and injuries while serving up the food and fibre for which we are renowned.
"This year, we have invited farmers from around the country to share a family recipe and a safety tip, which will be compiled into a beautiful recipe book."
Life on the land can be dangerous. Previous reports from Safework Australia said that since 2010 serious farm injuries have risen by 95 per cent, while fatalities have increased by 31 per cent.
Felicity said that implementing better safety standards and changing people's attitudes can help to reduce these figures.
"We are currently preparing the 2022 Safer Farms Report, in which we will share AgHealth Australia's injury and fatality statistics from January 2021 to June 2022," she said.
"Our preliminary findings as of December 2021 were 46 fatalities and 128 injuries. This is 12 fewer fatalities than in 2020, and we're very hopeful that the downward trend will be reflected in our 2022 report, but despite this, we have a long way to go. Our target is zero fatalities, and we will continue to work with our farmers and farming communities to achieve this goal."
The new edition of The Standard's Ag magazine highlights the importance of farm safety in its 2022 edition. Check out the cover story, which looks at the Child Farm Safety campaign launched during Farm Safety Week by Victorian Farmers Federation's Make Our Farms Safer team. Read more in the online emag here.
The focus on working with farmers and their communities was ramped up when Farmsafe Australia released a National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy to further reduce agriculture injuries and fatalities by 2030. Felicity said the program was tracking well and had been boosted by other projects working in unison.
"We have seen some fantastic programs proposed during this time and are looking forward to many of them coming to fruition over the coming years," she said.
"All with the aim of education at the forefront of helping to reduce on-farm injuries. This year, we're highlighting five intangible risks and hazards faced by the farming community, including the blurred line between the farm, home, and the work environment, the current labour shortages and resultant stress on workload, fatigue management, complacency, and mental health.
"By highlighting these issues during Farm Safety Week and encouraging our members and the rest of the farming community to do the same, we hope that farmers will take stock and consider how these issues might be impacting on their business."
A number of long lunches will be held in paddocks across Australia, hosted by Farmsafe members, to bring together friends and family to celebrate food, fibre, and the most important asset on Australian farms, our farmers.
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