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Our rural teachers share their tips for working safely around rural properties and travelling through rural areas.

We've asked our rural team to share some basic farm safety tips. Safety covers such a broad area in the rural industry but some of the key points you should consider include communication, basic safety supplies, the safe use of equipment, what to do during breakdowns, and how to deal safely with different weather conditions.

Communication

  • Set ground rules around letting someone know when and where you are going somewhere, how you are travelling, and when you should be back by.
  • Encourage having a message board that the family uses to put their whereabouts on, just in case the family member they’ve told isn’t around.
  • When working on the property make use of technology like mobile phones (if you have service), two way radios, or in particularly isolated areas an EPIRB or satellite phone.

Basic safety supplies

  • When working on the property ensure you always have an adequate water supply with you.
  • Dress appropriately for the environment with a hat, long sleeved shirt, long pants, work boots, and sunscreen.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit in the vehicle or equipment you are using.
  • It's always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in farm vehicles such as 4WDs and tractors.

Safe use of equipment

  • Tractors are required to have a Roll Over Protection System, and should not be used if they don’t.
  • When using motorbikes, quad bikes or horses you should always wear a helmet and the appropriate clothing.
  • When using motorbikes or quad bikes ride safely to the conditions, to the terrain, and to your ability.
  • When riding horses ensure that the horse you are riding on matches your riding capability.
  • Beware of power lines when operating equipment.
  • Ensure you do a pre-start safety check before using any piece of equipment (including checking fuel and fluid supplies).

Breakdowns

  • Stay with the vehicle, keep calm and relaxed.
  • Protect yourself from weather elements by staying in or near the vehicle where possible.
  • If you have followed the above rules around communication you shouldn’t need to wait long, and it's easier to find you with the vehicle than if you wander off.

Weather conditions

  • Before you plan work on the property, be aware of what the weather forecast is for the day.
  • Weather can change quickly and with little warning, so take note of these changes and act accordingly and responsibly.

Above all else, it's better to be safe than sorry.

 

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