Farming Safety – The Benefits of Good Farming Safety

The Benefits of Farming Safety.

Farming safety is an important issue. It’s no secret that farming can be a dangerous game. There are so many risks involved that the proportion of accidents seems to skew highly for this industry. Because of this, we would like to talk about employee safety for farmers and their crew.

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Farming Safety: Universal Barriers to Safety.

With all the knowledge and understand that we have today about health and safety practices, it could be assumed that effective safety procedures would be in place across most industries by this point. Unfortunately, this is not the case. According to Safety Solutions, a study funded by the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership found major barriers to effective health and safety measures were common across industries. These barriers included:

  • Attitudes,
  • Perceived cost,
  • Time, and
  • Inconvenience.

This is not exclusive to the farming industry. These attitudes are a universal issue. But, because the risks of farming are so high, there is a need for a change in attitudes in this industry more urgently. As Safety Solutions notes “Agriculture employs just 3% of Victorian workers but suffers almost 30% of all workplace fatalities.” In the same article, Safety Solutions note that farmers owe it to the people in their lives to make serious attempts at safe practices on a daily basis.

Grain growing in a field tended by farmers who deserve the benefits of farming safety

Farming Safety: Practical Solutions.

Despite the notion that improved safety is too high in cost and inconvenience, there are many simple and cost-effective solutions. Many of which take very little time and can be implemented almost immediately. Worksafe Victoria provides a list of safety suggestions for farmers on their website. This list includes:

  • Let someone know where you’ll be working and when you are due back,
  • Have an emergency communications plan,
  • Keep a phone or other means of communication with you so help can be called if necessary,
  • Have an emergency plan in place in case there are any incidents.

While these should be the absolute minimum requirements for farming safety, there is more that can be done. Due to the nature of farming, it’s not always practical to let someone know where you’ll be and when you will be back. This is not a nine to five job. Circumstances are constantly changing, and these circumstances can take you off your intended route and delay your return time.

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Small Investments can Mean Big Improvements.

Making a small investment in a lone worker safety app for your phone can solve these problems. A lone worker safety app can monitor your location with GPS. You can also set a welfare timer. The welfare timer lets you set a period of time and then check in when the timer is up. You can either continue for more time or stop it if you are back. If you choose a monitored app, in the event you don’t check in the monitoring centre is notified. Once this happens the professional team can implement your emergency plan for you. This can save valuable time if there is an issue.

If you left at 8 am and were not due back until 6 pm, there is a ten-hour window where you are unaccounted for. With a professionally monitored lone worker safety app someone will know where you are and when you are due back. You will have constant communication capability and an emergency plan that is actionable 24/7.

Something as simple as a phone app can make all the difference. Not only that, but the costs are low. A huge 89% of Australians have a smartphone (as of early 2016), which means all it would take is a quick download. There are no extra devices you have to charge the battery for. Or, that you have to remember to take with you. Simple, smart, and cost-effective. There’s no reason not to put safety first.

Farming safety is as important for those who are tending vines, growing apples, or feeding cattle.

Farming Safety: The Benefits.

The obvious benefit of improved farming safety is improved farming safety. But, if that wasn’t enough there are other benefits as well. According to Safety Solutions “research shows that the most safety-minded organisations are also among the most profitable and that developing a safety culture on-farm pays off…”. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) note that “focusing on practical steps that farmers can take to improve safety will… lead to better productivity and improved returns for the farm business.”

In the same article, the RIRDC note that improved safety, where safety is part of the culture of the farm, is crucial to the future of the industry. Particularly, for attracting and holding on to staff.

The simpler the solution the more likely industries are to adopt it. A lone worker safety app is simple, convenient and effective. It’s a cost-effective way to improve safety immediately. It really is a small investment with massive benefits.