Working in your environment

Farms are dangerous places. There are many hazards that can injure you, your family and your workers – from deafness caused by exposure to dangerous noise, diseases passed from animals to humans, exposure to chemicals and electrical safety.  

Noise

Hearing loss from noisy machinery and firearms affects two thirds of the farming community. Losing your hearing is very isolating. It affects your ability to communicate with your family, friends and workers, and for some people it seriously affects their social lives. Tractors, workshop tools, firearms, heavy machinery can all contribute to hearing loss over time. For information on protecting your hearing while working on the farm, access the resources below.

Zoonoses and biosecurity

Working with animals day to day presents a risk of being exposed to diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans, called zoonoses. They affect thousands of people across Australia each year.

Chemicals and pesticides

Chemicals and pesticides are a part of farm life, but if you don’t use them safety, or use chemicals that are deemed no longer safe, then you could be putting yourself at risk of short and long term health problems as a result.

Always read labels and safety data sheets before using pesticides, and follow the instructions and use appropriate personal protective equipment when handling chemicals. You can find out more below.

Electricity

Powerlines can kill. If you have them on your property make sure you:

  • mark them at ground level
  • know the height of all your machinery and vehicles
  • check paddocks before entering – lines can come down in high winds, and cable heights can change in hot or windy conditions.

Ausgrid provides an informative video outlining electrical safety measures for rural workers.

Cotton Australia has a 'Look up and live' fact sheet on working safety around electricity on cotton farms.

Resources