AgHealth Australia, (previously known as the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety or ACAHS) is based at Dubbo in central-west New South Wales. It is a leading research activity group within the School of Rural Health, University of Sydney investigating non-intentional fatal and non-fatal incidents occurring on farms across Australia.
AgHealth Australia provides on-farm health and safety auditing services. Audits start the process of identifying gaps and assist in working towards meeting health and safety requirements. Our auditors are fully accredited with considerable experience and expertise in conducting farm health and safety audits across a wide range of commodity sectors.
A summary of fatal injury surveillance methods in Australian Agriculture and their impact on safety policies and practices.
Agriculture is one of the most important and also hazardous industries in Australia. Having a sound knowledge and understanding of the circumstance of injury events is critical to developing evidence based intervention programs. The paper aims to provide a brief historical snapshot of the development of data systems underpinning the assessment of fatal farm injury in Australia and how it has impacted on safety policy and practice.
The first Australian studies used coronial information to explore agricultural fatalities, these studies reviewed paper-based records (in-situ) and collected the information for analysis and reporting. This task was laborious and costly. When the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) was established in 2000, this allowed access to coronial records online. Information provided about the deceased includes demographics, contextual details on the nature of the fatality and autopsy, toxicology, and police reports, as-well-as the coroner’s finding. Information from the NCIS, along with media reports, have been used to develop the farm fatality database. This information has been used to inform the safety goals and targets for farm commodity groups, identify key risks, provide long-term benchmark indicators and underpin the development of prevention materials and training resources.
Without accurate, timely, concise and relevant data about injury occurring on farms, there is no evidence to drive policy and practice or to evaluate programs of work. As such, the continued utilization and extension of the NCIS data will prove crucial to further reducing the burden of preventable fatal injuries on Australian farms.
- Peachey K, Franklin R, Lower T. A summary of fatal injury surveillance methods in Australian Agriculture and their impact on safety policies and practices.
A Narrative Review of Fatigue in Agriculture and Its Impact on Injury and Fatality in Australia.
The objective of the study was to identify current knowledge about the role of fatigue in occupational injury in the agricultural sector and briefly assess potential intervention approaches.
The initial search revealed 6,031 papers, of these 33 met the inclusion criteria. The literature unanimously agreed that fatigue contributes to occupational injury in agriculture and related industries. However, there was a scarcity of literature specific to Australia or agriculture. This limits the ability to draw conclusions about the true relationship between fatigue and injury.
In conclusion while fatigue is likely a major contributor to occupational injury in Australian agriculture, the limited literature impedes the ability to draw conclusions and extrapolate interventions used by other industries that are practical and feasible, to agriculture. Future studies should establish the nature of the problem in Australian agriculture and consult with members of the sector to establish the best interventions to ameliorate the problem, then implement and robustly evaluate intervention studies.
- Summers JL, Lower T, Peachey K. A Narrative Review of Fatigue in Agriculture and Its Impact on Injury and Fatality in Australia
AgHealth Australia is based at Dubbo in central-west New South Wales. It is a research activity group within the School of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney.
AgHealth has been leading research in relation to injury and deaths on Australian farms for 30 years. AgHealth works with partners such as Farmsafe Australia to ensure the research conducted is turned into practical programs to assist farmers, their workers, families and the rural community. Translation of the research information has led to the development of programs of work that in conjunction with industry and relevant organisations, has contributed to major reductions in the burden of injury and poor health in rural Australia.