Agriculture is a pillar industry for Tasmania and on-farm safety is a priority for the Tasmanian Liberal Government.
Today I was pleased to launch AgCard, a new online farm safety and employment induction program developed by Primary Employers Tasmania with a grant from WorkCover Tasmania.
AgCard is designed to encourage all employers and workers in the agricultural industry sector to identify and manage workplace health and safety risks, provide essential awareness and understanding of standard employment and initiate farm safety procedures.
The induction program specifically addresses the causes of serious injuries including quad bike safety and tractor safety, handling animals safely, and manual handling.
After completing the AgCard induction program, workers will be provided with a Certificate of Completion as evidence of their learning.
The farm is a unique work environment where family homes are often part of a workplace. Employees work in challenging conditions, exposed to the elements or in charge of heavy machinery.
In Tasmania, six per cent of the total workforce are employed in agriculture and it is pleasing to see that over the past 10 years the frequency rate at which workers in the agricultural sector have suffered serious injury has reduced by 8 per cent.
The most common type of farm work injury reported is body stressing (30 per cent) followed by being hit by moving objects (28 per cent), and falls, trips and slips (20 per cent).
The AgCard complements the work undertaken by the Tasmanian Government’s Safe Farming Tasmania Program and will help to provide a safety culture on Tasmanian farms and also improve the well-being of Tasmanian farmers.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government has a plan to grow the value of agricultural production to $10 billion by 2050 and improving on-farm safety, with initiatives like AgCard, will help achieve this goal.