Incidents of on-farm deaths have decreased by 20 per cent in 2021 nationally, compared with 2020, according to the latest figures in the Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia 2021 report prepared by AgHealth Australia.
In 2021, tractors were listed the highest cause of death, outdoing quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles.
Of all reported injuries, 60pc were caused from quads, tractors or horses.
#PlantASeedforSafety founder Alex Thomas said technological advancements continued to increase safety on farm, particularly in the case of heavy machinery, but it was important to avoid complacency.
"The more you have on your plate, the less focussed you are on the job and the higher the chance of something going wrong," she said.
"Labour shortages mean farmers are often working harder and for longer, creating added physical and mental stress. Farm safety is the difference between seeing your kids grow up, and not.
"It's that split-second judgement between taking a short cut and risking everything; or investing the time to slow down, speak up and take care."
A small oversight during an ordinary pest control run almost cost the life of Woodbridge vineyard owner/operator Will Holmes, Gomersal.
This accident has totally affected my life.- Mark Branson
At the beginning of February 2020, just prior to vintage, he had a quad bike accident that could have ended catastrophically, according to health professionals, if it wasn't for his mobile phone in his shirt pocket taking the brunt of the impact from major chest injuries.
"I was chasing and scaring birds at the vineyard and I just made a misjudgement," he said.
"It had these tapered rows in the block that I just kind of misjudged and rode straight into the trellis at fairly high speed. I would have certainly been doing 40 to 50 kilometres."
The accident caused Mr Holmes to lose consciousness and suffer some very nasty lacerations to his head.
"I just about scalped the back of my head off on a wire," he said.
"I had two or three wires that went across my body to across my face and then one that went across my chest.
"So I had neck injuries and back injuries but I broke three ribs, punctured a lung, had a hernia from it, and also had blood in my urine for a little while afterwards - caused from a small laceration to my kidney."
Mr Holmes could not use his mobile phone to call for help once he regained consciousness as it was crushed when it caught the impact of the wire that went across his chest.
"It actually snapped the phone in half - it folded the phone over," he said.
"It made us rethink how we do things - it was a wake up call for us.
"We've bought a side-by-side to basically do away with the quads - they seldom get used now. They are completely out of bounds for children."
A split-second decision also changed the life of cropper Mark Branson, Stockport.
As he began harvest on his 1200 hectare farm six years ago - 12 months after the Pinery bushfire went through his place - he fell while climbing down from his header.
Mr Branson said he had worked late the night before and was up early to make the most of the good weather on the day.
"I went to get down from the engine bay area going down the ladder and my foot missed the first step," he said.
"I fell the complete 3.5 to four metres down, then landed landed on my right leg, which compound fractured the tibia and fibula just above the ankle.
"It being a compound fracture - the bone saw the outside world and punctured through my skin - I had to have an 11-hour operation to put in plates and screws to connect it all back together and a skin graft to fill the puncture wound hole."
Mr Branson had a total of 10 surgeries and was still in pain five years later so, 12 months ago, with advice from interstate surgeons, made the decision to have the bottom portion of his leg amputated.
"It was an osteointegration amputation so I have metal rods going all the way through the big bone - the tibia - up to my knee," he said.
He said they lost farm income as a result of the accident, despite his son Sam doing a "fantastic" job taking on most of the operations.
"I wasn't really on board to make major cropping decisions," he said.
"I have JobAccess looking to change the ladders on the harvester to prevent it from ever happening again.
"This accident has totally affected my life.
"My main message would be to not get too fatigued - whilst it wasn't all of the problem, it was certainly some of the problem."
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