Time to improve farm safety for next generation

Farming is a business often passed down through generations. Now is the right time to build safe practices into business operations to ensure an enviable farming lifestyle into the future.

Agriculture remains one of the state’s most dangerous industries and sadly four lives have already been lost in 2021 and 24 people have died as a result of workplace incidents in agriculture in the past three years.

On top of this, more than one person every day working in agriculture is injured badly enough to lodge a worker’s compensation claim.

Farming is in the blood for Beeac brothers Tom and Bill Alston, who are managing directors of 6500-acre Stonyhurst Pastoral. Although they are following in their family’s footsteps, they are always seeking new ways to improve their operation, including when it comes to safety.

In a video with WorkSafe, the third-generation farmers share how they have made improvements on the farm including introducing drones to muster sheep, which has brought both productivity and safety benefits.

“Both my grandparents were farmers, so I was born into the lifestyle – and hopefully my kids follow my steps,” Tom Alston said.

“I think there’s a bad culture in farming that my father did it that way and my father’s father did it that way, so that’s just the way it should be done.

“I think that needs to change a fair bit because there’s a lot of farming practices can be done a lot safer and a lot better.”

Mr Alston said there was plenty of help available for farmers choosing to make safety improvements.

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