Focus on farm safety as study reveals deaths

There are no farmers, no farms.

That’s a harsh message from researchers who have found that agricultural accidents involving the felling of vehicles, machinery, dams and trees are one of the leading causes of death on land across Australia.

Using national coronary artery data, researchers examined trends in unintentional deaths on farms from 2001 to 2020 and identified 1584, or about 79 deaths per year.

The study, published in the Australian Journal of Rural Health, found that two-thirds were work-related. The main causes of injury are accidents with his quad bike and his Ute, as well as machinery such as tractors and forklifts.

Farm structures, including dams and power lines, are responsible for 11% of fatal injuries, while environmental factors such as tree cutting account for less than 7%.

Researcher Kerri-Lynn Peachey, who presented the findings at the National Rural Health Alliance conference in Brisbane last week, said it was important to make sure farmers got home.

“You may see a bumper sticker that says, ‘No farm, no food,’ but think, ‘No farm, no farm,'” she said.

Peachy, from the University of Sydney’s School of Rural Health, said precautions such as helmets, tractor rollover safety structures, pool fences and banning children from riding quad bikes would help alleviate much of the burden. rice field.

The study also found that farmers over the age of 55 were involved in 58% of all work-related accidents and were significantly more likely to die than younger farmers.

The Northern Territory had the highest rate of fatalities on farms and the lowest in South Australia.

The figures revealed a slight drop in farm deaths, but there is a need to refocus on farm safety, especially among older generations, the study authors said.

“Failure to address these issues directly will result in little or no improvement in the health and safety record of the agricultural sector, with significant impacts on individuals, families, businesses and entire communities.”

Focus on farm safety as study reveals deaths

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