A two year $300000 Worksafe Victoria and VFF partnership is seeking to improve farm safety through helping farmers undertake farm safety audits and ensure their businesses are OH&S compliant.
Announced last week, the program will see the VFF employ a dedicated farm safety officer to assist farmers and educate them on risks.
‘‘The amount of deaths that occur on Victorian farms each year is just unacceptable and the industry needs to get serious about implementing a zero fatality target,’’ VFF president David Jochinke said.
‘‘The best way to do this is to have a response led by people with industry experience who understand the challenges and attitudes in farming today.’’
Mr Jochinke said the key to the program’s success will be managing both operational and cultural goals and taking a proactive approach to educating farmers, their families and employees on quad bike safety.
‘‘But farm safety isn’t just about knowing the safest workplace practices — it’s also about having a positive attitude to providing a safe work environment and treating the safety of workers as a priority,’’ he said.
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Marnie Williams said she was confident the partnership would encourage more farmers to seek advice and tackle farm safety issues head-on.
‘‘Reducing the number of injuries and fatalities on farms remains a significant challenge for everyone involved in the agriculture sector,’’ Ms Williams said.
‘‘WorkSafe will continue to promote the importance of farm safety through TV and education campaigns, promotional work at field days and on-farm inspections, and this partnership will provide us with a new avenue to inspire farmers to make safety their number one priority.’’