Safe work environment

Students from the Timboon P-12 School learn about farm safety.

Farm safety starts early

Students from the Timboon P-12 School took part in a farm safety visit at Devondale Murray Goulburn suppliers Paul and Michelle Fowler’s Brucknell dairy farm.

The Fowlers welcomed the local year five students to their Brucknell dairy farm as part of a unique agricultural program which links the school with its community and embraces the area’s farming identity.

The farm safety visit followed a similar format to that conducted for the first time in 2012 where Paul, Michelle and other guest speakers spoke to groups of students at various points around the farm.

At each station, the children were assisted by speakers from Worksafe, the Vet Group, CERT and Devondale Murray Goulburn to identify and discuss potential hazards associated with that particular farming practice. By the end of the visit, students were well briefed in risks pertaining to the dairy, farm animals, dams and waterways, machinery and traffic, as well as chemical storage and the application of first aid responses.

A large percentage of the children who attended the safety session were from a farming background; with all students not living on farms indicating that they were regular visitors to farms. An emphasis was placed on the fact that farms are a unique combination of workplace, residence and play environments and as such the students needed to be aware of the safety hazards present.

The forum provided students with a basic understanding of health and safety concepts. It is anticipated that exposure to these concepts at a young age will encourage greater awareness and ownership of their own health and welfare and see young people become advocates for safer farms and workplaces in the future.