Marnie Williams talks of farm safety, responsibility and a radical future

WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director, Health and Safety , Marnie Williams, has had a horrid week. Last Saturday, while being ill with a cold, she stood in for the Victorian Industrial Relations Minister at a Migrant Worker Forum, at which she was asked “what you gonna do about it?”. However she continues to make herself available, …

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What is Farm Safety Week really saying about safety?

This week is Farm Safety Week in Australia.  This means that a lot of organisations will be issuing media releases about how to either, improve safety performance (ie. reduce harm) or raise awareness of risks and safety.  What is likely to be missing from the information is practical information.  This is partly because of the …

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Reputable Australian government body announces first farm safety survey

There is a lot of silence on the quadbike safety front.  An Australian industry code of practice seems overdue, the findings of a New Zealand inquiry into farm safety are yet to be finalised and released…… But the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) has today announced its first survey into farm safety … Continue reading “Reputable Australian government body announces first farm safety survey”

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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