Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Heydon has welcomed the launch of the government’s ‘Be Summer Ready‘ campaign.

With this launch, the minister wishes to remind farmers and all those who may visit farms of the need to be aware of all the risks.

Every year, farming accounts for over 40% of all fatal workplace incidents. It is now time for a change in behaviour, so that the rate of fatal and serious incidents in agriculture is reduced, the minister said.

Be Summer Ready campaign

“Farmers and their families should always highlight all of the risks on the farm to any visitors, so as to keep them safe,” he said.

“While farms have a lot of risks, they do not have to be dangerous. It is important that farmers take heed of all of the safety advice that is available.”

Referring to the relevant information for farmers in the government’s Be Summer Ready campaign, the minister drew particular attention to the ‘SunSmart’ advice. 

“After all, as the majority of a farmer’s working day is spent outdoors, we need to be mindful in relation to sun safety, particularly during the summer months.” 

Not just about physical risks

In the lead up to silage season, and for tillage farmers with the on-going spraying season, Minister Heydon took the opportunity to remind farmers of the need to ensure that their tractors and machinery are in good working order and have been fully serviced.

The minister added:

“It’s not just about farmers focusing on their physical safety, but also on their health and wellbeing.

“In these times of Covid restrictions we should be even more mindful of our farmer neighbours who may live and work alone or in isolation.

“Take the time to pick up the phone to check in on them. All farmers, their families and their enterprises will benefit from improved behaviours around issues of health, safety and wellbeing because farmers must always remember that they are their farm’s greatest asset.”