First aid in focus for National Farm Safety Week
With many farms doubling as worksites and domestic homesteads, St John Ambulance Western Australia believes first aid training should be an essential skill for all people living and working on rural properties.
The timely reminder comes as part of National Farm Safety Week (July 18-22) which aims to raise awareness of farm safety issues and focuses on practical measures to improve safety.
St John paramedics attended a property in Newman last week following a motorbike collision involving a seven-year-old and 15-year-old. While no life-threatening injuries were reported, the incident reinforces the need for constant vigilance when it comes to farm safety.
Nationwide, 30 deaths have occurred on farms this year, according to statistics from Farmsafe Australia. Of these, four involved tractors, three were attributed to quadbike accidents, and seven resulted in the death of children.
St John Country Ambulance General Manager Julian Smith said first aid training for people living and working on farms was especially important given they often resided in regional and remote areas.
“Farmhouses are often considerable distances from the nearest town and therefore further away from emergency help when it’s required,” Mr Smith said.
“Farms also regularly double as worksites and domestic homesteads, which can be a dangerous combination if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Given that children often live there, there is a need for farmers to be ever vigilant of potential hazards and take immediate action to fix them”.
“The risks can never be eliminated completely which reinforces the need for anyone living and working on farms to be trained in how to administer first aid treatment.”
According to Mr Smith, paramedics regularly treated injuries caused by farm machinery and quadbikes. He said many accidents could be avoided by always wearing appropriate safety equipment and taking action to fix potential hazards.
“St John regularly responds to accidents involving machinery and motorbikes or quadbikes, as well as things like insect bites and stings, and injuries caused by livestock,” he said.
“Some of incidents are very serious and, unfortunately, some even result in fatalities. Farmers need to ensure they have safety action plans in place and that appropriate safety equipment is used at all times.
“We recommend people are trained in first aid every 12 months.”
To book first aid training or buy a kit, visit www.stjohnambulance.com.au