Injury rates dropping among Australian farmers

The number of injuries recorded on Australian farms has decreased in recent years, but challenges still exist for workers. This is according to a recent report from the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA), which tracks the number of injuries that occur on rural properties.

The claim rates for injuries among farmers has decreased by 14 per cent between 2012 and 2013, according to the report. Also, 401 different cases led to compensation claims in 2013, compared to 467 claims in 2012. This is the lowest number of claims Australia has seen in the last 10 years.

The most common injuries that occur on farms are strains, sprains and muscle-related conditions. Other common injuries involve workers hit by moving objects, as well as falls and trips.

VWA Executive Director of Health and Safety Len Neist suggested that these injury rates still make farming a very dangerous industry.

“Although the number of reported injuries on farms is at its lowest for the past 10 years, it’s concerning that more than 400 injuries occurred last year. So it remains vital that farmers and those who work on farms are always vigilant when it comes to workplace safety,” Mr Neist said.

The VWA found that the most common hazards for farmers are poorly guarded chemicals and tools that are not stored safely.

Farmers who face these risks on a daily basis need to choose the right equipment to prevent injuries. Safety cabinets can be used to store flammables and hazardous substances securely and keep workers safe. Special cabinets can be used to safely store toxic substances.

A tool storage system will also prevent injuries on a farm. These systems offer an easy way to keep many different tools within arm’s reach without creating a hazard for farmers. Both of these solutions can ensure that your farm is safe for workers. To keep  floors clear of waste a forklift mounted broom enables quick and effortless sweeping.

“The key to keeping farm work safe is effective planning and using the right equipment for the job,” said Mr Neist. “A farm is just like any other workplace, and farmers need to ensure the same proactive approach to safety is adopted.”