Zero farm fatalities by 2030 – Can it be done?

Beef Central, 18/03/2021


Statistics highlighting the challenge Australian agriculture faces to improve farm safety.


“Farmers aren’t finding new ways of killing themselves. It is the decision-making of the farmer that is the issue.”



ZERO farm fatailities by 2030 is the underpinning goal of a new National Farm Safety Education Fund strategy launched this week by FarmSafe Australia.

The National Farmers’ Federation’s 2030 Roadmap for Agriculture outlined an ambitious target of zero fatalities on farm by 2030.

It will not be each to achieve for an industry that has averaged 59 farm deaths per year for the past 10 years.

“One accident is the difference between success and failure,” the National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy document states.

“To some, zero means nothing. We can assure you – zero means everything to the friends and families whose loved ones never returned home. So, zero it is.”

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud described the strategy as an important step towards safer farms in a high risk working environment.

The strategy identifies five priority targets for further investment:

  • Leadership and cultural change;
  • The next generation of farmers;
  • Physical and psychological well-being;
  • Industry-endorsed training and continued learning; and
  • Evidence and ‘incentivisation’.

Farmsafe Australia chairman Charles Armstrong said the strategy sent a clear message that agriculture is ready to do things differently.

“There is no denying that agriculture needs to change its relationship to work health and safety practices.

“Not only is legislation demanding it, but our people are much too important to allow the culture of ‘she’ll be right mate’ to prevail,” Mr Armstrong said.

“Right now, we’re seeing firsthand the importance of our farmers to Australia – they are truly essential.

“But they also work in an extremely high-risk environment. Agriculture consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous industries for workers in Australia.”

The Australian Government has dedicated a further $1.6M in funding for farm safety over the next three years.

Farmsafe Australia will report annually, through the Safer Farms Report, to measure performance against the Strategy and to ensure delivery of programs and initiatives that genuinely increase safety on farm.

“The National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy will play a valuable role in guiding our work, health and safety progress as an industry,” Mr Armstrong said.

For a full copy of the National Farm Safety Education Fund Strategy, head to the Industry Reports section of the Farmsafe website


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  1. Natasha Wing, 19/03/2021

    We need to take a leaf out of the aviation industries book and be more open about the details of incidents so that as farmers we can do a better risk assessment of our own facilities and practices.

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