Visitors to farms and regional properties are being urged to stay safe this festive season with many in the community choosing a NSW country getaway over interstate or overseas travel during these uncertain times.
SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Community Engagement, Andrew Gavrielatos, said a few common-sense steps could help ensure farms are a safe environment for visitors who may be less familiar with life on a rural property.
“Bringing family and friends together on a farm at Christmas time is a fantastic way to showcase rural living,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“However there needs to be clear rules in place, so visitors are aware of any hazards and know how to stay safe. While visitors to the property may be in holiday mode, it’s important to remember that many farms remain a workplace with potential hazards.
“Farm vehicles in particular are not toys, they are powerful pieces of machinery that can be extremely dangerous when not used safely – in fact, they’re the leading cause of death and serious injury on Australian farms.
“Quad bikes are one of the biggest risks on NSW farms, causing 166 deaths in Australia since 2011. Never let children under 16 operate or be carried as passengers on adult sized quad bikes, and ensure adults are trained and wearing a helmet.
“Also keep a close eye on children and don’t allow unsupervised access to dams, dangerous farm machinery, silos, stockyards or chemical stores.
“Every farm-related fatality and injury has a devastating impact on families and communities. That’s why we’re urging those visiting country NSW to ensure everyone on the farm has a safe Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
For further information on how to make the holiday season safe, visit the farm safety section of the SafeWork NSW website.
To find out more about the Farm Safety Advisory Program, a joint program with SafeWork NSW and NSW Farmers offering free safety advisory services and resources, visit the NSW Farmers website.