4 Jan 2015

Safer farming could take generations

7:39 am on 4 January 2015

WorkSafe is expecting it to take time to bring about a change of culture toward health and safety in agriculture.

An agricultural machine sows crops.

Worksafe will start a six-year safety programme for agriculture next month. Photo: Photononstop

The government agency is rolling out a six-year safety programme in February 2015.

It will include enforcement of health and safety regulations and a media campaign around farm safety and education.

WorkSafe national programmes manager Francois Barton said 20 of the 55 workers killed in 2013 were employed in the agriculture sector.

He said it would take time to change farmers' attitudes and he expected the process to be similar to other campaigns.

"Seatbelt laws changing, drink driving changing, that's been a generational campaign.

"We're seeing the results of that track through now, so I think what that tells is it goes back to the cultural piece, it's not just one thing, it's vehicles, it's rules, it's awareness, it's understanding, it's culture and it takes time."

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