Push on farm safety

31 Jul, 2002 10:00 PM

A PUSH to lift farm safety standards to match the mining industry is set to receive a $15,000 boost from the state government.

The funds will be used to further develop a farm injury prevention alliance, which was formed earlier in the year.

As a key player in the alliance the WA Health Department agreed to commit $15,000 to bolster the efforts of the group.

Further monetary contributions were expected from the Agriculture Department, with hopes figures would reach as much as $70,000.

Key alliance member and Farmsafe WA chair Tony Hiscock said poor funding and general disparity among groups had hampered farm safety in the past.

But financial backing for the alliance would ensure a more targeted approach.

Mr Hiscock said mining safety expert Pat Gilroy had been selected to lead the group, which would benefit moves to lift standards to match those of the mining sector.

"Mr Gilroy has a belief, as I do that, farm injury prevention can go as far as mining in time," he said.

The endorsement of an advisory committee to the Worksafe Commission was also expected to increase safety efforts, and ultimately empower farmers to determine their own safety regulations.

The committee would consist of 17 members from groups including WAFarmers, Pastoralists and Graziers Association, Country Women's Association, Australian Workers' Union, Health Department, Agriculture Department, among others.

The WA farm safety alliance would operate to deliver programs under policy and safety strategy direction of the advisory committee.

Mr Hiscock said the advisory committee was likely to dissolve within three years, making the farm safety alliance the new peak body.

It would allow industry to drive its own safety agenda.

"We have to make sure the industry takes up ownership," he said.

"Then we'll have the mandate to make changes that we need."


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