Based on research findings that show safety-conscious farming businesses are among the most profitable, the 2015 National Farm Safety Week theme encouraged growers to adopt practical safety measures that also deliver higher returns.
Announcing the ‘Safe Farms = Better Productivity’ campaign in July, Farmsafe Australia chair Charles Armstrong said safer farming practices could reduce the risks of death and serious injury and improve the bottom line: “Even non-fatal injuries can have major cost implications as a result of harvest delays, damage to equipment and downtime required for recovery,” Mr Armstrong said.
Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) Advisory Committee chair Gordon Gregory said an analysis of farm sector injuries commissioned by the PIHSP showed more than 182,000 working weeks were lost across the grains, cotton, mixed-farming and sugar industries over the four-year period to 2011-12.
“The development of a safety culture where safety is a fully integrated part of the farm business pays off,” Mr Gregory said.
“Several studies show that a safety culture improves the quality of communication between management and the rest of the company. It also pays by reducing time and paperwork devoted to checking whether safety-related actions are carried out. What costs money is not safety but bad safety management.
“Developing a culture where safe work practices are deeply embedded is critical to the future of the primary industries, particularly in relation to attracting and retaining workers.”
Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership
The PIHSP is funded by the GRDC, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia, and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.
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