While quad bikes are largely considered to be the leading cause of on-farm injuries and deaths it was the tractor, which often slips under the farm safety radar, that accounted for more fatalities in 2016.
Figures from the University of Sydney Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety show there were nine tractor related on-farm deaths last year. Mobile-plant machinery also caused nine, while quad bike incidents resulted in six deaths.
In 2015 the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP) released a report mapping the Work Health and Safety (WHS) risks for people working in primary industries. The report found that while there have been improvements over the past 20 years with annual deaths in agriculture falling from around 150 per year to 60 per year, the industry is still one of most dangerous in Australia.
The dangers associated with the use of tractors, and ensuring users are well-informed as to how to stay safe, is a cause General Manager of “The Farm” at Byron Bay, Johno Hunter, takes seriously.