Fewer on-farm injury deaths in 2014

03 Feb, 2015 01:00 AM
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For the fourth consecutive year quads were the leading cause of non-intentional injury deaths on farms. File photo.
While any reductions are welcome, each farm injury death is one too many
For the fourth consecutive year quads were the leading cause of non-intentional injury deaths on farms. File photo.

RESEARCH by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety based on media coverage indicates a small reduction in on-farm injury deaths in 2014.

Centre director Dr Tony Lower said there were 54 deaths reported in the Australian print media last year.

"This is down from 59 in 2013 - and while any reductions are welcome, each farm injury death is one too many, as all cases cause real suffering for family, friends and whole communities," he said.

The study results show that for the fourth consecutive year quads (12) were the leading cause of non-intentional injury deaths on farms, making up 22 per cent of the total.

This was followed by tractors (10), farm utes (5) and other farm machinery (4).

Tragically, 7 of the fatal cases (13pc) involved children aged 14 years and under, with quads (3) and drowning (3) being most frequently involved.

The report also provides detail on non-fatal incidents that have been highlighted in the media (94), with quads again featuring as the main cause and being involved in 52pc (49) of the incidents.

Other machinery (9) and tractors (8) were a distant second in the cases reported.

"These non-fatal cases are also important as often people will suffer significant injuries that have lifelong consequences," Dr Lower said.

The 2014 information reflects a 65pc drop in the number of on-farm injury deaths when compared to the early 1990s where the average was 146 deaths per year.

"This reduction over the past 20 years is fantastic news, however many more deaths and serious injuries can be prevented by using solutions which we know from the evidence work," Dr Lower said.

"Agriculture has the unenviable record of ranking only second behind road transport as Australia's most dangerous industry.

"While reductions in deaths over the past 20 years are welcomed, there really is a need to continue to fast-track improvements.

"Improving health and safety has a human face and it's vital that we never forget that."

A copy of the report and a wide range of materials that can assist those that work and live on farms to reduce risks to themselves, farm workers, family members and visitors, is available from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety.

FarmOnline
Neil Lyon

Neil Lyon

is the national machinery writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

Makka
3/02/2015 10:03:00 AM

Has anybody bothered to compare the number of people working in Ag production 20yrs ago to the current number? Correct me if wrong, but I think current numbers would be well down on 20 yrs ago.
farmed
3/02/2015 6:43:28 PM

Declining figures might be a sign of declining farmer numbers. when your tired, over worked and under paid of course your going to make mistakes.

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