DESPITE IMPROVEMENTS over the past two decades, there remain unacceptably high rates of death and injury on Australian farms.
According to the outgoing Independent Chair of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP), Gordon Gregory, the greatest risks are associated with quad bikes, tractors, other farm vehicles, unguarded machinery, hazardous manual tasks, animal handling and mustering.
“In much of our agriculture, the safety challenge is compounded by the fact that there is no clear distinction between workplace and home. This can result in serious risks for children, friends and visitors,” he said.
As Mr Gregory prepares to move on, a replacement champion of good health and safety for farmers is being sought by the PIHSP, with expressions of interest now being called for the position of Independent Chair.
The Partnership aims to improve the health and safety of workers and their families in farming industries across Australia through investment in research, development and extension activities. It is funded by the Cotton, Grains and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations, as well as the Australian Meat Processor Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia.
The activities of the Partnership are guided by a management committee comprised of representatives of the investing partner organisations and an Independent Chair.
Mr Gregory says the position provides a unique opportunity for someone who is passionate about improving health and safety outcomes in the agricultural sector.
“With the Partnership’s focus on practical tools and outcomes for farmers, there is an opportunity to lead tangible and lasting changes in the attitude and approach of primary producers to health and safety that can in turn save lives” he said.
Mr Gregory is encouraging interested individuals to nominate for the Independent Chair’s position.
“The Partnership is currently developing a new five-year plan for its work. This means that there’s the opportunity for the new Chair to drive the direction of the Partnership’s activities.
Applications for the position of Independent Chair close on October 7, 2016.
For more information about the position and application process, visit www.rirdc.gov.au/docs/pihsp/PD.pdf
For more information about the Partnership, visit http://www.rirdc.gov.au/PIHSP