What a year! With a promising season in full swing, an eye on the weather, and a global pandemic impacting the availability and movement of workers across the country, it is THE perfect time to take a day to focus on safety across the fodder supply chain.

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is proud to celebrate National Hay Safe Day by launching a series of new safety resources with its safety partner SafeAg Systems.

Three Fodder Safety Briefs on telehandler safety, traffic management plans and worker training have been released today to guide safe work practices.

“Often complacency and fatigue result in accidents and deaths on our farms so this busy period is the perfect time to stop and think about safety,” said Paula Fitzgerald, AFIA Chief Executive Officer.

“During these busy months we also need to be mindful that sufficient time has been spent inducting new staff, particularly those unfamiliar with the farm’s operations,” she said.

“The new Fodder Safety Briefs being released today build on AFIA’s safety signage and our existing resources which address working safely when moving, loading and unloading fodder,” she said.

Strong supporters of National Hay Safe Day, Safe Ag Systems CEO, Katy Landt notes, “We are reminded of industry statistics all the time, these statistics represent real people. We believe everyone deserves to go home safe, and we are proud to play our part in National Hay Safe Day.”

Although every day should be Hay Safe, if we can impact safety culture through educational resources, we can contribute to a positive movement in agriculture,she said.

A 2018 report by Safe Work Australia indicated that on average, the agriculture industry ranked second in terms of fatality rate, accounted for the highest number of fatalities over the last five years; and ranked third in terms of the frequency rate of serious claims.

“Clearly we must focus on reducing fatalities and serious accidents in our sector. National Hay Safe Day is a valuable reminder that safety is non-negotiable in the fodder and broader agriculture sector,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

National Hay Safe Day is an initiative which arose from a tragic on-farm accident more than a decade ago. After losing her father, AFIA member and director Suzanne Woods, a Western Australian hay grower, started the awareness campaign which has evolved into what it is today.

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The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) is the independent, peak national body for the fodder industry. The new safety resources can be found at http://afia.org.au/resources/#safety