Farmers and their families often face many more physical risks than other people. Farmers are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety too. Safety and staying healthy are therefore especially important for those who work on farms.
Injuries on farms
Injuries on farms are common, and can affect men, women and children. Each year:
- more than 15,000 people are injured or become ill while working on a farm
- more than 4,000 people are hospitalised after an injury on a farm
- about 40 people die in accidents on farms
Most injuries on farms involve:
- quad bikes, which tip and roll easily, especially on hills
- agricultural machinery like tractors and harvesters
- animals such as horses and cattle, but also snakes, ticks and venomous spiders
Other farm hazards include:
- driving on rural roads and farms
- dams and creeks
- electrical fencing
- fire and flood
- rifles and guns
Staying healthy as a farmer
Avoiding accidents is an important part of farming. This includes learning how to:
- use a quad bike safely
- use a tractor and other machinery safely
- keep children safe on farms
- handle farm animals
- store guns safely
Staying physically fit is important. The National Centre for Farmer Health has information about staying fit on the farm.
The pressures of farming, together with its isolation, mean that farmers are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than other people. The healthdirect website has more information on rural and mental health. AgHealth Australia has also produced a useful booklet to help you identify and manage the stress of farming.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing depression or anxiety, then it’s important to get help. Talk to friends, other farmers, a doctor or someone at beyondblue’s support service.
Access to medical services and treatment
Accessing health services and treatment in remote and rural areas can often be difficult. Find out here about rural and remote health and services in your state or territory.
More information on farmer health
- The National Centre for Farmer Health has information and advice for farmers and their families.
- Farmsafe Australia has advice on staying safe on farms.
- beyond blue offers mental health advice and support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1300 22 4636.
- Lifeline offers 24-hour crisis support. Call 13 11 14.
Last reviewed: September 2018