The Palaszczuk Government has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of farm safety.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said #safefarmqld was aimed at encouraging Queensland’s farmers and agricultural workers to come home safe at the end of the day.
“It’s a sad fact that while only 3 per cent of Queenslanders work on farms, more than 30 per cent of workplace deaths happen on them,” Mr Furner said.
“Many of these tragedies, which have enormous impacts on families and communities, could easily be prevented by focusing on simple strategies to improving farm safety.
“Farm safety is everybody’s business which is why we are encouraging anyone who works or lives on a farm to promote farm safety by sharing useful tips and making suggestions on Twitter.
“Take photos of things you do to improve farm safety and share them, your knowledge and experience using #safefarmqld to start conversations about safety with your workmates or family.
“Each year we lose too many farmers to incidents that could have been prevented and sharing farm safety awareness tips using #safefarmqld might well mean creating a safer work environment for your family, friends and colleagues.”
Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace said the Queensland Government, through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Electrical Safety Office were working across the state to help make farms safer.
“A range of materials has been produced to assist small to medium sized businesses to develop management systems for health and safety risks around farms and other agricultural workplaces,” Ms Grace said.
“Factsheets, brochures, short films and even a calendar are available on the Queensland Government’s Worksafe website, worksafe.qld.gov.au.
“Additionally, through the Rural Skills Adjustment Strategy, the Government and TAFE Queensland are delivering programs that provide training in a range of areas including workplace health and safety, chemical handling and the use of chainsaws.”
Mr Furner said the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) recognised the value of promoting a safer and healthier workplace within the department.
“DAF’s annual Health and Safety Leadership Awards actively encourage staff to develop practical, safe solutions and ways of working to improve the health and safety of their workplaces,” Mr Furner said.
“The awards recognise teams and individuals for their contributions to making our department a safer and healthier workplace across three categories – Best contribution to creating a positive work health and safety culture; Best health, safety and wellbeing initiative or solution and Best contribution to rehabilitation and return to work.
“This year, 15 nominations from across all the diverse areas of the department profiled initiatives that focused on risk assessments and safe operating practices; mental health and wellbeing; leadership in monitoring and continuous improvement; healthy lifestyle activities; creating a positive culture of coaching and support and regular networking among staff to share learnings.
“We are asking our own people to walk the walk, and we want every farmer to play their part so they and their workmates go home safe at the end of the day.”