Working on a farm presents various work health and safety hazards, including working alone or in remote locations, working with large animals and chemical exposure.

In this video, Matthew Sherwood shows us around his 1,300 acre sheep and cattle farm in Goulburn, NSW, providing a unique insight into the work health and safety issues he deals with on a daily basis.

Matthew also outlines the precautions he takes to maintain a healthy and safe workplace so that he can return home safety to his family each day.

Who is this seminar for?

This video is primarily intended for farm owners, managers, workers and anyone interested in the agriculture industry. It may also be valuable for communities and businesses who engage with farmers.

About the presenter

Matthew Sherwood is a farm manager in Goulburn, NSW.

This video was produced by Safe Work Australia and is one of a series that focuses on work health and safety in specific industries.

Additional resources


Matthew Sherwood, Farm manager

I manage this property. It's about 1,300 acres. It's a sheep and cattle enterprise. We have a lot of variants each day in what we do, but anywhere from farm maintenance to stock movements, we could be shearing, we do a lot of fencing, maintenance of water and pipes, we could be sowing, putting in crops. There are a few things we're need to be careful of and watch out for when we're working on a farm. One of those things is chemicals. When using chemicals, mixing chemicals especially, we have to make sure we use all the correct safety gear and then take care when we're using.

Working with large animals can sometimes be a problem. The cattle can have a fair bit of weight behind them, and if they're being a little bit angry at the time or you get them cornered, they could run you over, so we select heavily for temperament. We cull out any cattle that might cause you a bit of grief later on. So we make sure all the gates are swinging properly so you can get through them easily, minimising any risk of having an accident.

We work on a property that it's hard to know where someone could be if there was incident, so we try and maintain communication and let everyone know where we're going to be. One of the best things about being on a farm is the lifestyle for the kids. It's a great environment to bring your kids up in. One of the main reasons I take work safety very seriously is to be able to get home to my wife and son each night and enjoy the time I spend with them.

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