Agriculture, particularly farming, remains to be one of the foundations of Australia’s economy. It contributes 2.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
It employs around 300,000 people. It helps keep the food costs low by ensuring consistent domestic production. In fact, no more than 140,000 farmers are enough to feed everyone.
It can also be a dangerous industry. According to Safe Work Australia, it ranked second in terms of worker fatalities over the last 10 years until 2016. There were more farming-related deaths than in construction, mining, or manufacturing.
Two of the leading causes of death across industries are common in Australian farming. The first one is vehicle collision. This one accounted for 42 per cent of all related deaths and injuries among the sectors.
The risk factors include the quality of the vehicle and the behaviour of the driver. To minimise these scenarios, companies such as A.I.M. Sales invest in tractors that have already gone through a pre-inspection.
When it comes to behaviour, these accidents may occur due to intoxication and physical or mental fatigue. Safe Institute of Australia strongly recommends taking naps during the early afternoon.
It also suggests taking caffeine in moderation and taking longer breaks during high-risk hours. These are from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM.
The second common cause is falling from a height. At least 25 people from various industries died because of it. In farming, this accident is not unusual. Tired farmers can fall off their tractors. Fruit pickers can miss a step in a ladder. The platform may not be stable.
No one solution can guarantee farmers will be safe throughout their jobs. Falling from a height or a vehicle collision are risks they should be willing to take. Nevertheless, they don’t need to happen. Farmers can keep everyone safe by spending on the right equipment, tools, and training.