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Farmer health

2-minute read

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 
  • motorbikes
  • 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
  • chemicals
  • 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:

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.

If you are concerned about any symptoms, use healthdirect’s Symptom Checker to find out what to do next. You can also find the nearest health services to you using healthdirect’s service finder.

More information on farmer health

Last reviewed: September 2018

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