The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) is calling on the state government to implement co-funding opportunities for farmers and other businesses to undertake a range of safety improvements after new statistics showed Queensland had one of the highest numbers of on-farm deaths in the country.
The Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia 2020 report compiled by AgriFutures Australia and AgHealth showed a total of 58 on-farm deaths were reported by the media during the period 1 January to 31 December, 2020 – 16 of which were in Queensland.
QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said agriculture was one of the most dangerous sectors to work in due to the combination of hazards including heavy plant and machinery, chemicals, noise, dust, sun and heat exposure, working with animals, alone or in remote locations.
“Safety is a serious consideration on Queensland farms to ensure that farmers, workers and other people on farm are not exposed to risks to their health and safety, and QFF remains committed to promoting and advancing safe workplaces to turn these statistics around,” Dr Davis said.
“We believe significant improvements could be made by implementing a government co-funded grants program in Queensland supporting safety improvements such as installing crush protection devices on quad bikes, upgrading switchboards, fitting powerline markers, raising the height of distribution lines, devices to boost mobile phone coverage for remote workers and training.”
“A similar scheme is already operating successfully in New South Wales and we appeal to the Queensland Government to take a common-sense approach to addressing risk and ensuring the safety of our farmers at work.”
“Reducing farm fatalities requires significant investment of energy, capital and human resources, but we have many opportunities and we must make the most of them.”