Next week is National Farm Safety Week, which is a time for all of us to raise awareness of farm safety issues and take the time to reflect on how we - as farmers - can ensure the best possible safety practices are used on our farms.
There's no doubt that agriculture is one of the most challenging, varied and rewarding jobs that people can choose to do. But it's also one of the most dangerous environments to work in.
It's a confronting fact that, last year, almost half of all workplace deaths in Victoria involved some sort of machinery or heavy vehicles. This makes them the most dangerous hazards in Victorian workplaces - and farms one of the leading risk environments for workplace accidents.
Above all, we must prioritise the safety of our employees, our families and ourselves.
Safety is, and always must be, our highest priority because we all deserve to go home to our loved ones after a hard day's work.
It goes without saying that there are a lot of farmers who are providing exemplary on-farm safety practices - and for that I thank them.
I know it can be an overwhelming task to ensure all the correct measures are in place.
The VFF offers several comprehensive, free-of-charge health and safety services for farmers that comply with current COVID-19 restrictions and can be assessed by calling the VFF on 1300 882 833.
I encourage everyone to use the resources we have on offer to ensure the highest possible safety practices are in place across their farms.