National Farm Safety Week 2017

National Farm Safety Week 2017

18 July 2017

There’s a romantic notion about country life: closely-knit communities, quality family time, kids growing up in touch with nature. Fresh air, open space, green fields and grazing sheep. For those of us used to bumper-to-bumper peak hour traffic, this sounds like a great escape. 

Even though reality is somewhat different to this idealisation, the rural and remote lifestyle is still quite distinct to that in metropolitan Australia. When you find yourself some hundreds of kilometres between fuel stops you realise how planning ahead suddenly is very important. If the nearest shop is hours away – then what about the nearest hospital?

Promoting health and wellbeing on Australian farms – National Farm Safety Week

Agriculture is the biggest employer in rural and regional Australia and one of the country’s biggest industry sectors. Unfortunately, the industry sets a sad record in terms of worker fatalities: in 2016, only the transport industry has seen more work related deaths (Safe Work Australia). And this does not take other injuries and fatalities into account: around 12 children under the age of 15 die on Australian farms each year.

The National Farm Safety Week (17 - 23 July 2017) draws attention to health and safety issues in rural Australia with the aim of seeing “Productive Australian farms free from health and safety risk”. While Farmsafe Australia provides many practical resources for farm safety such as guides to handle cattle or machinery safely, the initiative also emphasises the importance of issues such as Child Safety on farms, Mental Health and Wellbeing and Emergency Preparedness. 

In case of emergency preparation is key 

Whether you live in a remote area or visit for work or travel, having specific first aid skills and knowledge along with the necessary first aid equipment can make the difference in case of emergency or sudden illness. Fact is: Medical help will be delayed. While waiting for professional help to arrive or being able to evacuate the patient, their health and wellbeing are in your hands. Would you know how to sustain life and minimise the consequences of the injury or illness?

While much of our everyday first aid knowledge and skills can be applied anywhere, Remote Area First Aid bears its unique challenges. From basics like infection control and hygiene in remote areas to clinical assessments and prolonged patient care, being prepared and trained what to do can improve the outcome for all involved.

Going off the beaten track?

When planning your adventure, accidents and emergencies are probably the last thing on your mind, and the risks involved in travelling remotely should not deter you from exploring the great outdoors. With the right preparation you can mitigate those risks, for instance by attending St John SA’s Remote Area First Aid course*. In three action-packed days you will get hands-on experience in building emergency shelter, practice remote communications and gain specific advanced first aid skills ranging from pressure immobilisation for bites and stings to triaging and managing unconscious patients.

Take on the Aussie Outback or any remote location with the confidence you need to respond to unexpected emergencies.

*Our Remote Area First Aid course covers the units HLTAID001, HLTAID002, HLTAID003 & HLTAID005.