Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Farm safety
GROUND COVER FARM SAFETY 2 INTRODUCTION FARMS HAVE SPECIAL SAFETY NEEDS Cover: Workshops are among the most dangerous places on a farm -- see page 8 PHOTO: KELLIE PENFOLD FACTS AND FIGURES ALL ARTICLES IN THIS SUPPLEMENT ARE BY KELLIE PENFOLD, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS PER 1000 WORKERS BY INDUSTRY, 2000--01 INDUSTRY FEMALE MALE TOTAL Horticulture and fruit growing 14.7 22.4 19.8 Grain, sheep and beef cattle farming 12.2 30.3 26.2 Dairy cattle farming 13.9 30.7 26.1 Poultry farming 39.2 35.5 36.8 Other livestock farming 38.8 89.3 70.8 Other crop growing 44.4 44.2 44.7 All agriculture 16.9 29.8 26.1 Services to agriculture 18.3 41.2 35.1 All industries 11.4 23.1 17.7 SOURCE: WWW.NOHSC.GOV.AU Transport & storage Mining Construction Manufacturing Agriculture, forestry & fishing Personal & other ser vices Health & community ser vices Wholesale trade Accommodation, cafes & restaurants Cultural & recreational ser vices Electricity, gas & water supply Government administration & defence Retail trade Communication ser vices Education Property & business ser vices Finance & insurance SOURCE: WWW.NOHSC.GOV.AU NUMBER OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS BY INDUSTRY, 1994--95 TO 1999--2000 0 '000s 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 BY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR LYN FRAGAR DIRECTOR OF THE AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURAL HEALTH AND SAFET Y From the beginning Farmsafe Australia's members realised special attention was needed to develop practical approaches to safety issues faced by farmers and farm workers. It was clear the formal processes underpinning most occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation would be difficult for agriculture, which is based on small family business units. Farmsafe Australia, an association of national agencies sharing a common interest in farm safety, plays a key role in setting priorities for farm safety. It brings together stakeholder groups to consider specific issues and develop practical and effective national strategic approaches. All reference groups include farmers from those industries represented. The National Farm Injury Data Centre plays a key role in bringing together the available information about the safety problems, helping set safety priorities and to monitor progress. The results are practical guidelines and on-farm safety resource kits, farm safety education and training programs and opportunities for farmers and rural workers, government subsidy incentives and, in some instances, reduced insurance premiums for farming businesses actively adopting industry-endorsed safety measures. With this increased knowledge industry leaders can contribute more effectively to government and industry policy. However, much remains to be done. No farmer wants to make a profit at the cost of a life or limb. There is a need to adopt systematic practices that build in safety, without the operator having to think about it at every step. While practices that give rise to longer-term problems such as chronic back injuries are difficult to change in any sector, the fatalities and traumatic injuries occurring in farming are preventable. But farmers cannot simply be accused of stubbornness because of their perceived resistance to adopting safer work practices. This Ground Cover supplement puts the spotlight on some of the outcomes from the investment into improving safety that has been made by the rural R&D corporations, by industry and by governments. Other initiatives will be reported in future editions of Ground Cover. 0 Farm deaths in Victoria in 2005 -- down from an average of 15 deaths a year. 150 persons die from non-intentional injury on Australian farms each year. These deaths are of farmers, farm workers, bystanders and others and occur in a range of circumstances and farms of different agricultural enterprise types. Deaths of farmers and farmworkers on the roads also add significantly to loss of life for this population. 300 to 350 traumatic deaths of male farmers and farm workers from all causes (non- intentional and intentional) occur each year across Australia. 600 children are admitted to hospital each year as a result of a farm injury. Children under 15 account for between 20 and 25 per cent of all hospital admissions. Many more children with farm injuries are treated by general practitioners and hospital emergency departments. 4500 workers' compensation claims are lodged each year in the agriculture and horticulture industries. Claims for workers in services to agriculture, such as shearers and other contract workers, add a further 830 a year. These rates are among the highest of any industry. Hospital data shows motorcycles, vehicles, horses, farm machinery and animals as the main causes of farm injury. 30,000 workers' compensation claims were lodged in agriculture and horticultural industries between 1994--95 and 2000--01. Of these, 7261 related to powered equipment, tools and appliances and a further 5248 to non-powered equipment.
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