SafeWork NSW Inspectors will be visiting agricultural businesses and holding events throughout regional NSW to discuss safer ways of working as part of National Farm Safety Week.

In the state’s Central West, SafeWork NSW is teaming up with local services (including the Rural Fire Service, Rural Financial Services, Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and local Dubbo farmer, Ben Shanks) to host a Farm Safety Day for local farmers on July 18. Attendance at this event will allow farmers to take advantage of SafeWork’s Small Business Rebate.

Safework Inspectors will be dropping in on avocado farms in the Port Macquarie area, with an emphasis on itinerant workers and safety around moving plant.

And in the Riverina, SafeWork will be meeting farmers and industry workers at the Livestock Marketing Centre in Bomen on July 20 to provide education and safety advice relating to safety around machinery and vehicles.

SafeWork NSW’s regulatory priorities for 2023 target risks found across the agricultural sector including safety around moving plant and machinery, seasonal workforces, and quad bike and side-by-side vehicle safety, as well as exposure to harmful substances.

Education sessions will talk through causes of recent serious injuries, some of which were wet weather-related through the recovery of bogged vehicles. There will also be discussions about working with drones to reduce reliance on quad bikes and vehicles, and how to better manage the safety challenges of working with seasonal labour.

SafeWork NSW has a free advisory service that can help farmers create an action plan to cover safety issues and qualify them for a $1000 safety rebate that can be used to make farm improvements.

Head of SafeWork NSW Natasha Mann said:

“The agriculture sector accounts for one-in-five workplace deaths in NSW every year and is a priority for SafeWork NSW. Farming is the backbone of many regional areas and we can’t afford for any worker to lose a day or more through serious injury.

“This National Farm Safety Week we want to put the focus on making sure that farming work is done safely and our workers make it home at the end of each day.

“Far too often farming incidents occur when people are using machinery, and because they also tend to happen in isolated settings there can be catastrophic outcomes for the injured person. The SafeWork Inspectors want to share knowledge to help farmers and workers avoid a terrible event.”

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