October is Safe Work month in Queensland, a time where as industries and individuals we reflect on and consider how our actions or inaction has impacted safety in our workplaces.
Openness about the realities of workplace safety on farms is essential for addressing bad practice and changing negative attitudes. A damming figure often put in front of us is that even though only 3 per cent of Queenslanders work on farms, nearly 30pc of all workplace deaths in the state happen on them.
While it is important to acknowledge this figure, it is also important to recognise that improvements have been and continue to be made. In the past three years, there has been almost 90pc reduction in the rate for traumatic injury fatalities on Queensland farms.
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) encourages people working in our sector to take the time during Safe Work Month to reflect on and discuss how safety improvement changes can be made in their workplace. This month marks a time for us to shine a light on improving work health and safety, and remembering our most important reasons for staying safe at work.
Industry takes the issue seriously and is delivering a series of Workplace Essential Workshops designed to assist farm businesses increase farm safety, and by doing so, also increase efficiency and compliance. Five workshops were held in September, and 12 more will be delivered across the state over the next 6 months. For more details and secure your seat visit: http://www.qff.org.au/projects/rural-jobs-skills-alliance/queensland-agricultural-workforce-network-qawn/.
Other resources available include the ‘Serious about farm safety’ guide. Developed by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and industry, it is a useful tool to assist small to medium sized businesses to develop a management system for health and safety risks around the farm and other agricultural workplaces. For more information, visit http://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/agriculture/health-and-wellbeing-at-work/serious-about-farm-safety or call 1300 362 128.