At Fonterra, safety and wellbeing are our top priorities. We understand the importance of creating a safe working environment for our people, including the farmers who partner with us and supply us with their milk all year round.
This week marks National Farm Safety Week, and we proudly stand behind this initiative to spread the word about farm safety. Partnering with close to 600 dairy farmers across Victoria and Tasmania, we have an important role in supporting our farmers to make informed decisions that puts their safety first and protects lives.
The Safer Farms Report released this week revealed agriculture as the most dangerous industry in Australia, highlighting the need for continuous efforts to promote safer work environments for our farmers. The Report's sobering revelation of 55 lives lost on Australian farms in 2022 highlights the urgency in ensuring safety becomes an integral part of farming practices.
Helping to grow awareness of safety on farms is Jocelyn (Jozzy) Bevin, Fonterra’s Area Manager and People Specialist, western Victoria. Jozzy believes safety can’t just rely on policy and procedure alone, it must be put into action.
“Safety shouldn’t just be something written down and filed away, it should be embedded into your operations, able to be demonstrated, and importantly, people need to lead by example.” Jozzy said.
“There’s no point having a safe work procedure if no one wears a helmet on the quad,” she added.
Jozzy works closely with Fonterra’s farmer suppliers to provide farm safety expertise in managing the day-to-day risks on farm. She has been involved in dairy for more than 40 years, and has a deep understanding of the work environments that farmers operate in.
Jozzy sees firsthand the work environments, equipment, and machinery dairy farmers operate each day and has built a wealth of knowledge over the course of her career. During National Farm Safety Week, these are Jozzy’s Top Tips for ensuring farm safety is always front of mind.
Top Tips for Farm Safety
1. People are the most important thing on a dairy farm. Farmers should put themselves first, and the safety of others, ahead of all else.
2. Maintain a safe and healthy work environment, which extends to all visitors to that farm. When farmers’ work environments are also home, the lines can become blurry. But the obligation remains.
3. Anyone who steps foot on a farm, even if it’s a home visit, must be considered as part of the farm’s process to manage and mitigate risk.
4. Create an environment where people feel safe about speaking up, particularly around physical safety, psychological safety, and mental wellbeing.
About National Farm Safety Week
National Farm Safety Week runs from 16 – 23 July 2023 and is an initiative of Farm Safe Australia.
This year’s campaign, called ‘Stay on the Safe Side’ focusses on tractor, vehicle, and machinery safety. The campaign aims to reinforce important safety messaging to help farmers create a safer working environment. The underlying message of the campaign is that farmers and farm workers need to take ownership of their own safety by recognising that safety is a choice, or a series of choices that they make every day.