The latest farm safety data has revealed that incidents of on-farm deaths in Australia have decreased by 20 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020.
These results reflect the hard work undertaken across the sector – everything from new regulations, research and development, technological innovations and safety role models – all of which contributes to a stronger safety culture overall. However, this doesn’t mean it is time for us to get complacent.
The annual report prepared by AgHealth Australia, funded by AgriFutures Australia, Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia 2021, reported a total of 46 on-farm deaths in the period 1 January to 31 December 2021, compared to 58 on-farm deaths in the corresponding period for 2020.
Tractors, quad bikes and side-by-sides were the three most frequently reported agents of injury, collectively accounting for 56 per cent of the total on-farm deaths. Quad bike deaths are reported to have decreased between 2020 and 2021 (from 14 to 9 incidents), however the number of incidents involving tractors and side-by-sides have remained very similar.
Age is another factor that it is important to track with farm safety statistics, and in 2021 it was reported that 27 fatalities were people aged 45 years and over and six were children aged 14 years and under. This compares to 36 fatalities in the over 45 age category and eight in the 14 years and underage category in the previous year.