Each year, over 100 workers’ compensation claims are accepted for injuries caused by falling objects from a truck or trailer. For those working in the agricultural industry, these types of accidents are far too common and tragically, falling hay bales contribute to a number of fatalities across the country.
- Victorian Farmer, aged 40, crushed to death by bale of hay
- WorkSafe probes hay bale death in Calingiri, WA
- Farm Safety: Hay bale accident, ‘happened so quick’, Lancefield Victoria
- Willunga Hill Man dies in horrifying hale bale accident
- Farm worker in Queensland dies after being crushed by hay bale
These headlines and many more are reported in the media each year. The latest fatality was published earlier this year when a worker was crushed by a 720kg hay bale while removing a strap from the front-end loader’s trailer when the hay bale became unstable and fell from the trailer onto him.
Unfortunately families and communities at large experience this type of heartache way too often which also impacts the entire agricultural industry.
Suzanne Woods, founder of National HaySafe Day is all too familiar with this type of heart-breaking event. In 2009, Suzanne tragically lost her father on their family farm whilst he was carting hay. “We all have to face death but when it happens you are never ready”.
“I wanted something good to come out of something so awful and didn’t want any other families to endure the suffering that follows such a tragedy.”
This lead to the creation of National HaySafe Day. “Channelling my grief into a positive outcome definitely helped me get through and having the Australian Fodder Industry Association support the initiative made it possible to reach farmers, contractors and exporters across the country”, Suzanne says.
“Awareness and knowledge of safe practices were the key messages…”
HaySafe Day on the 25th October has been acknowledged for 9 years. It’s a regular event on the AFIA calendar and AFIA members have got on board by sharing their HaySafe messages and activities.
This year, Safe Ag Systems are joining forces with Suzanne and the AFIA to help raise awareness and remind farmers about the importance of farm safety.
It’s easy to become complacent during a period of high stress. When asked what advice Suzanne would give to someone approaching or in the middle of hay baling, Suzanne responded with, “Most agricultural activities involve a high level of risk. I think it is important that the risks are continually assessed and employers and employees constantly look out for hazards to themselves and others they are working with”.
Also, “Communication regarding risk keeps safety a high priority. Fatigue management is also critical as hay making involves erratic hours and its’ important to be conscious of staying alert whilst operating machinery.”
Safe Ag Systems would like to extend a special thanks to Suzanne, Brad and AFIA for their continuing support and work on this important safety initiative. While shining the spotlight on hay safety for one day is an exponential step in the right direction, we know that change starts with you so be the change the industry needs.
Keep safe. Keep farming.
Want to get involved?
Share some HOT TIPS for HAY SAFE DAY just like Brad Griffiths, proud AFIA board member and Safe Ag Systems user will be with the following socials #haysafe #ausfodder #safeagsystems
One of Suzanne Wood’s first actions when she created the HaySafe Day Initiative was to generate hay specific safety signage to display on farms, sheds and machinery. This resource is available from the AFIA website free of charge and is still central to the initiative.
10 for tea and have a conversation with your workers and team. Make them aware of the risks involved and ensure you tell them they need to go home safely tonight. View the RU Hay Safe Conversation Checklist for suggestions.