WorkSafe has launched a new campaign to let farmers know that “it’s never you, until it is”.
The six week advertising campaign has launched across regional television, print, radio, digital and social media and aims to challenge the common mindset that “a serious incident won’t happen to them”.
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Julie Nielson said the new campaign shows the workplace incidents on farms are not prevented by experience alone.
“Farmers know their land and machinery like the back of their hand, but that doesn’t make you bulletproof,” Ms Nielson said.
“It might be easy to think that a tragic incident will never happen on your farm, but if safety is not your top priority then the chances are high that it will.
“Farmers owe it to themselves, their families, their workers and communities to always keep safety front of mind and make it a permanent part of their daily life.”
Werribee South’s Velisha Farms managing director Catherine Velisha said she views good safety as good business, and that it is a benefit to productivity.
“When you’re constantly looking at your processes and your people, what it does is make sure that you’re running as effectively and as efficiently as you can,” Ms Velisha said.
“We see it as a benefit to our business, not a cost.”
Ms Velisha said the fact that horticulture and agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries is always “front of mind” for her.
“I think fear is a huge barrier to people taking on a safety journey within their businesses,” she said.
“Industry and people who have… started taking that journey, what we need to do is help other businesses have access to people who will help them… so it’s no longer something to be fearful of but an improvement onto your business.
Ms Velisha said her main advice to fellow farmers is to not be afraid.
“There’s people out there that want to help you and make sure that you educate yourself and your people to help build capacity,” she said.
“I’ve decided to take on that journey and with that comes the responsibility of keeping my people safe.”
The WorkSafe campaign is part of a wider push to shift farm safety attitudes until WorkSafe’s Agriculture Strategy 2020-23.