Regional school students to learn farm safety

By Jamie Salter

Two new Victorian Government educational programs will teach rural and regional school students about safety on farms from an early age.

The Monash University Accident Research Centre found that children younger than 15 in Victoria’s outer regional areas were four times more likely to die because of injury than children in major cities.

MUARC recommended addressing this problem through increased education and awareness of known injury hazards, such as dams, farm equipment and off-road motorbike use.

As part of the program, Kidsafe Victoria will receive a $97,000 grant to deliver a farm safety campaign and creative competition in primary schools over three years.

The National Centre for Farmer Health will receive a $108,500 grant to deliver 20 "Gear up for Agriculture Health and Safety" workshops to Victorian secondary school students with an interest in agriculture.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the programs reinforced the government’s commitment towards reducing farm deaths and injuries.

“Increasing education and awareness is crucial in order to change the culture of safety on farms – by partnering with Kidsafe Victoria and the National Centre for Farmer Health, we can do this from an early age,” Ms Symes said.

“This Farm Safety Week is a good reminder that we all have a role to play in understanding that farms are workplaces as well as homes, and how we behave on them can have significant consequences for every person who works, lives or visits one.”

Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said the agricultural sector was overly represented in fatality statistics.

“Helping Victorian students understand the role they play in making farms safer will make a difference now and for every person who participates in the agriculture sector over the years to come.”

The grants are part of the Victorian Government’s $20 million Victoria’s Smarter, Safer Farms program, addressing skills and safety issues in the agriculture sector.

To find out more about the educational programs, visit: