National Farm Safety Week starts on Sunday, July 21 and NSW Nationals Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson is urging farmers to prioritise the health and safety of their families, workers and visitors on farm.

Mr Anderson said with this unprecedented drought continuing to strain the industry, farmers change their normal practices and procedures which could potentially expose them to new risks.

“Times are tough for people in our agricultural sector, so the last thing these families need is for a worker, visitor or family member to sustain an injury or worse,” Mr Anderson said. “Our message for the farming community this Farm Safety Week is simple – get back to basics with on farm health and safety.”

“Often it’s giving something that extra consideration, or making the smallest change to the way you do something on your property that can mean the difference in preventing a catastrophic incident.”

SafeWork NSW has continued to work closely with the agricultural industry to improve safety on farms, guided by the Agriculture Work Health and Safety Sector Plan.

Mr Anderson said farmers can go online or contact SafeWork NSW directly for tips and tricks to better protect them and their families.

“This year we introduced the A-Z Farm Safety Guide, which was produced in a partnership that included SafeWork NSW, NSW Farmers and farmers themselves to make health and safety compliance easier,” Mr Anderson said. “The guide gives really practical and hugely relevant advice on how people working on farms can manage a wide range of health and safety challenges on their property.”

Mr Anderson said Farm Safety Week was also the perfect time to remind farmers of the dangers associated with quad bikes.

“These machines are not toys, they can be difficult to operate and as we have seen far too many times can often lead to serious injury and death,” Mr Anderson said. “I urge landholders to take the time and access how much value they place on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, then think again before letting your family ride a quad bike. You can still access free training for quad bikes through Tocal College and there are generous rebates available for helmets, rollover bars and side-by-side vehicles.”

For further information on the Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program or to download the A-Z Farm Safety Guide visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.