8 February 2022. By AgForce Workforce and Safety Committee Chair James Stinson

During the past two years COVID has thrown health and safety into the spotlight for many who previously took it for granted.

Agriculture, however, has long been aware of the importance of safety and wellbeing, with the sector holding the unwanted record of the highest fatality rate of any Australian industry.

It’s why AgForce has reaffirmed its commitment to eliminate work-related injuries and illness within agriculture – releasing its Workplace Health and Safety Declaration to help establish a culture of ‘Zero Harm on Farm’.

With mental health issues and often hazardous working conditions compounded by isolation and limited access to medical services, due to the remoteness of many properties, AgForce is looking to lead by example to ensure we set the standards for everyone else to follow.

Our Workforce and Safety Committee has identified a set of priorities and goals to help us achieve Zero Harm on Farm, including:

  • Promoting health, safety, and wellbeing awareness and encouraging producers and their families, employees, and others in industry to participate in discussions about safety
  • Advocating for appropriate training, education, and information to be made available for industry and its workers about health, safety, and wellbeing
  • Emphasising the need for better reporting of health and safety performance by industry and setting measurable targets to allow continued improvement

To help maximise engagement with industry and producers, we have also joined forces with Farmsafe to highlight the potential dangers from vehicles, machinery, chemicals, and many other factors, in our efforts to raise awareness and overcome complacency – continual challenges for industry in improving its safety and wellbeing standards.

Zero Harm on Farm is a bold ambition, but if you’ve ever been affected personally by accident or illness in the workplace, you know the impacts can be all too devastating to not make this issue your number one priority.