Farm Safety group video shows unclear position on quad bike safety

Farming is a unique industry with significant occupational health and safety (OHS) challenges; it is unique because it is a blend of rural culture, working at home often with children in the workplace, isolation from social services, self-reliance and independence. It is important for the OHS advice provided and promoted to offer the most effective …

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The (fatal) flaw in over-reliance on government safety funding

As I write this, I am in a rooftop bar not far from the Astor Theatre, where the new Australian film ”Just a Farmer” is premiering. I am expecting a powerful story of the struggles of a farming family and community after one of their members dies by suicide. The film will likely touch on …

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The normalisation of quad bike safety

Segway has made a push into the Australian quad bike market, helping to fill the gap left by some vehicle manufacturers who would not accept safety improvements to their quad bikes. Prominent Australian agricultural newspaper, The Weekly Times, reviewed the latest Segway quad bike models. Rider safety was not mentioned specifically in the review, but …

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No one seems to know why farm deaths have declined

This week’s Weekly Times, a major Australian agriculture newspaper, is reporting the good news that work-related deaths on farms have declined (not available online). The numbers from Safe Work Australia are positive, but the analysis of the reasons for the decline is thin....

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The cultural impediments to OHS improvement in agriculture need to be confronted

Recently Western Australia concluded its WorkSafe inquiry into the Agricultural Industry. The recommendations for improvements in occupational health and safety (OHS) are remarkably dull as they largely fit with business as usual. It is much more useful to file this as a reference document which offers some safety insights. The inquiry was established after a …

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Engineering controls are possible, and they save lives

The issue of quad bike safety has largely disappeared from the mainstream media. This is largely due to the decline in opposition to installing Crush Protection Devices (CPD) on newly-purchased quad bikes in line with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) mandated safety standards. On November 24 2022, the ACCC released statistics that showed …

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Why are farms still unsafe?

The start of School Holidays is always a good time to issue reminders of the risks associated with farms, beaches and wherever holidaymakers go. The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), recently reinvigorated in its occupational health and safety (OHS) efforts, has released a new safety booklet – “Child Safety on Farms – A practical guide for …

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