Alive and WellThe New South  Wales (NSW) agricultural industry is one of its largest and most important industries, contributing to $11.7 billion in revenue. It is also one of NSW’s highest risk industries, recording 5465 injuries  and illnesses, including seven fatalities over  the three  years to July 2012.

In an effort to reduce the number of incidents and fatalities occurring on farms, the Alive  and well campaign was developed. In this campaign farmers are sharing  their  own  personal stories to help highlight issues like the pressure of farming life on mental health, the impact of injury  on farm operations and risks to child safety.

The NSW Farmers Alive and well campaign was launched in July 2014 at the NSW Farmers  Conference, of which WorkCover NSW was the major  sponsor.

The Alive  and well campaign features farmers that  have experienced or narrowly escaped serious injury  on their farms. Having  farmers share their  personal experiences and giving advice  on how  to stay safe has proven a powerful way to communicate vital safety messages  amongst farming communities.

The initiative aims to change  farming community perceptions towards health  and safety and focuses on six areas of farm work:

  • using machinery
  • kids on farms
  • what  to do if there’s  an injury
  • depression and mental health
  • working with livestock, and
  • sun exposure.

This is an example of WorkCover NSW forging productive partnerships with business networks, industry groups and the community to help promote farm safety.

Following the campaign launch, the featured farmers have been attending agriculture industry events  across the state and speaking about how  their experiences affected them. A video booth at all events  allows  farmers to share their  experiences and upload videos  to the Alive  and well website.

The Alive and well website features a variety of farmers’ stories as well as links to advice  and support on safe farming.

More information on farm safety is available on the WorkCover NSW website.

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