The Victorian Injury Surveillance Unithas released its latest quarterly statistical report, HAZARD. Number 68 provides a fascinating picture of the farm safety in Victoria, Australia. I strongly recommend that you get on the mailing list so that you can understand their statistical sources and limitations, as these are important and there is not enough time to discuss them at SafetyAtWorkBlog.
The detailed breakdown of agency of injury, age of injured person etc. makes this a fantastic resource for those working in farm safety.
One of the benefits of this type of research is that it allows us to determine the success of safety interventions, usually coordinated by government agencies. (One could argue that this is one reason for the paucity of research on intervention activities) In the VISU report’s discussion it said that
“No studies have reported that farmers’ or farm workers’ attendance at farm safety courses has reduced injury risk on their farms…. [and]… the authors suggest that safety training is better applied by farmers and farm workers if it is delivered in the context of farm skills-based training rather than stand-alone farm safety sessions.”
This confirms the adage that one can know how to do something safely but one has to see it being done, to be convinced it is the right way.
Part of the report’s conclusion is that
“…. the evidence suggests that education alone is insufficient to affect the adoption of safe behaviours and technologies.”
I strongly recommend you download the report and read it carefully. There may be only a small amount of evidence and research in this sector but what there is VISU has identified and analysed.