THE Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is raising awareness of farm safety and farmer health during National Farm Safety Week.

The week runs from Sunday, July 18 – Saturday, July 24, and aims to highlights the complexities of farm safety.

“Growing up on a dairy farm I understand that vigilance regarding health and safety of farmers, their families and employees should never take a break,” said Ms Bath.

“Being a farmer is more than an occupation, it’s a 24-hour, seven day a week commitment, performed in all weather conditions and regularly alone in remote locations.

“We also must look after the physical and emotional wellbeing of our farmers by talking about risk, seasonal pressures, stress, mental health, fatigue management and farm succession planning.”

Ms Bath said our farmers are the lifeblood of our communities, the essential work they perform as primary producers, keeps Australians clothed and fed.

“Recent statistics tell us that agriculture industry accounts for 50 per cent of all Victorian workplace deaths, despite employing only three per cent of working Victorians,” she said.

“Any serious ‘on farm’ accident is a tragedy and affects the individual and their family – an injured farmer is not a productive farmer.”
Ms Bath said the issue of farm safety was highlighted at a recent Nationals state conference held in Gippsland.

“Undertaking regular training helps to better understand risks on farm and how to mitigate them,” said Ms Bath.

“During National Farm Safety Week, I encourage all our farmers to take time to revisit farm safety and take stock of their health and wellbeing.”