Crucial farm safety workshops educate the next generation

27 March 2023

CQUniversity has delivered a series of free in-school workshops across Central Queensland to educate students on the cause of accidents and injuries on farms and what can be done to minimise risks.

The Next Generation Farm Safety Roadshow visited Middlemount Community School, Blackwater State School and Clermont State High School this week, where the CQUniversity Agri-tech Education and Extension team engaged students in hands-on, interactive activities.

A range of issues that young people may face on a farm was covered during the workshops, including practices around vehicle safety, zoonotic disease, chemical handling and more.

The project is a Commonwealth-funded initiative from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and is delivered by CQUniversity.

CQUniversity’s Associate Professor Amy Cosby said teaching safe farm practices and behaviour at an early age can set young people on the right track for life.

“Nearly 15 per cent of fatalities on farms involve children who are under the age of 15.

“Teaching students how to behave safely in a farm environment while they are at school could be a critical way to help more young people make the right choices,” she said.

“It’s not just for their safety at that moment, but also in the future.”

For students who may already be involved in agriculture activities or work-related tasks on farms, Assoc Prof Cosby said the workshops were a great opportunity to refresh their farm safety skills.

“In the schools we worked with older students who might be playing a more involved role on farms – whether that be their own family farm or just one they visit," she said.

“The activities got the students to think about the risks to themselves, others, animals and the environment and how to act to mitigate and minimise those risks."