Despite significant statistics on fatality and injury rates, there is a low rate of adoption of farm safety practices, and farm safety remains a low priority for most farmers. Previous reports have highlighted the need for studies that more directly investigate measures that increase the proportion of farmers who take advantage of programs such as Managing Farm Safety.
It is in this context that a safety promotion initiative has been proposed in the South West of Western Australia (2001-2002), with the objectives:
- brief community educational program, delivered by Farmsafe WA;
- To assess the risk profiles and specific hazards; and
- To recommend effective training and support strategies that increase the proportion of farmers who take advantage of education programs such as Managing Farm Safety.
A total of 306 farmers and growers, from eight peak organisations and two service clubs, participated in the study, which was conducted in two stages. The first stage assessed the feasibility of conducting brief educational programs; and the second stage consisted of a postal survey assessing the nature and extent of injuries in the past year, and training needs in safety practices. The findings confirmed the need for such safety promotion programs, highlighting low levels of awareness and a lack of motivation for participating in the Managing Farm Safety course. It also identified the barriers to the adoption of safety initiatives by farmers.