Agriculture October 22, 2021
Hey hey, it's National Hay Safe Day
Crestmead, Queensland (22 October 2021) — FODDER helps keep millions of Australian livestock fed and healthy each year, however it will be the safety and wellbeing of those behind fodder production that will be marked by National Hay Safe Day on Monday, 25 October.
National Hay Safe Day is the initiative of Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) member and director Suzanne Woods, a Western Australian hay grower, whose father was tragically killed in an on-farm accident more than a decade ago. Since then, National Hay Safe Day has evolved to become an important awareness event on the agricultural calendar.
John Deere Australia and New Zealand Production Systems Manager, Stephanie Gersekowski, said National Hay Safe Day provided a platform for all working in the farm sector to pause and think about safety at every point in fodder production.
"We know the important role the fodder industry plays in Australian agriculture and the deep commitment of our hay producers to what they do," Ms Gersekowski said.
"National Hay Safe Day provides an opportunity to promote the importance of safe farming practices, and to support the safety and wellbeing of our farmers.
"John Deere is committed to providing equipment and machinery that carries industry-best safety features to support Australia's $2.5 billion hay production industry.
"We invest in ongoing training and education of our dealers to ensure customers are well supported in the safe and effective operation of their hay equipment, and also recommend our customers review their Operators' Manual for best practice and safety guidelines."
AFIA Chief Executive Officer, Paula Fitzgerald, said they welcomed John Deere's ongoing support of National Hay Safety Day.
"AFIA is very proud to promote National Hay Safe Day and welcomes the involvement of our silver sponsor, John Deere, as we encourage all in the industry, from seed to feed to implement safe work practices that ensure each working day is incident free," Ms Fitzgerald said.
According to Safe Work Australia, in 2018, on average, the agriculture industry ranked second in terms of fatality rate, accounted for the highest number of fatalities over the past five years, and ranked third for the frequency rate of serious claims.
"Sadly, too many injuries and deaths still occur on our farms every year. We must strive for zero," said Ms Fitzgerald.
"National Hay Safe Days reminds us all that safety is non-negotiable in the fodder and broader agriculture sector."
Ms Gersekowski said being safe on, or around, hay production equipment didn't need to be complex.
"Staying safe can be as simple as being aware of your surroundings such as watching out for low hanging electrical cables to avoid electric shocks," she said.
Understanding that hay production doesn't always take place in flat paddocks, Ms Gersekowski also advised users to be especially careful when operating on hillsides.
"For producers who are using round baling machinery, discharging the bales on level ground or in a manner that prevents rolling will help prevent injury or damage from a rolling bale," she said.
"Using a safety chain will also help control the baler should it accidentally separate from the drawbar.
"Personal safety is also important, you should avoid wearing long loose items of clothing, remove jewellery and tie hair back if it's long to avoid becoming caught in moving parts."
About Deere & Company:
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at JohnDeere.com or in Australia at JohnDeere.com.au.