Council established to improve farm safety in Victoria

Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

A Farm Safety Council established by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes is providing advice to the Victorian Government and agriculture sector on how to reduce injuries and deaths of people on farms in Victoria. The Council has been meeting to provide guidance on activities that could be prioritised by government to make farms safer and change farm safety culture, ultimately reducing the number of deaths and injuries on farms.

Victorians who live on or interact with a farm, including children, suppliers and contractors, can also be at risk of an unsafe workplace. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes believes that it is critical that we find solutions to keep people safe, as in the past five months, six people have died while working on a farm.

“We want our farms to be safe places for those who live, work or visit them. The advice provided by the Farm Safety Council will guide industry and government on what can be done to make farms safer,” Symes said.

The Council includes members from Kidsafe Victoria, National Centre for Farmer Health, Victorian Agriculture Horticulture and Conservation Training Network, Australian Workers’ Union, Victorian Farmers Federation, United Workers Union, Worksafe Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services, Agriculture Victoria and the Department of Education and Training.

The council creates links with other programs that focus on the safety of farmers and their families. This includes the $6 million Quad Bike Rebate Scheme, mental health support through drought and bushfire recovery, and industry-led services, such as Dairy Australia’s farm safety programs.

“Farms continue to be one of the deadliest workplaces, so it’s important that we use the stories and information given to us through this Council to make sure every person on a farm gets home from work safely,” said Jill Hennessy, Minister for Workplace Safety.

The Farm Safety Council is part of the Victorian Government’s $20 million Victoria’s Smarter, Safer Farms program and Making our farms safer election commitment, which address skills and safety issues in the agriculture sector.

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