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255 Measuring farm safety culture: farm safety checklists don’t pass the test
  1. Susan Brumby1,
  2. Jacquie Cotton2,
  3. Amity Latham3
  1. 1Western District Health Services, Hamilton, Australia
  2. 2Deakin University, Australia
  3. 3National Centre for Farmer Health, Hamilton, Australia


Background Despite farmers’ capacity to use and rely on a range of technical production data there is no suitable measurement for their workplace safety. Agriculture, forestry and fishing remains in the top three most fatal occupations in Australia. This research sought evidence of a measurement, or the context to create one, to help farmers and the industry work towards making farms safer by measuring leading indicators rather than lagging indicators, such as fatalities and presentations to hospital.

Method The literature search was constructed in MEDLINE Complete, Embase, APA PsycINFO, Global Health and SocINDEX, incorporating the concepts and derivatives of farmer, workplace, safety, occupational illness and culture. A simplified version was adapted to source grey literature through Google Advanced search.

Results The peer and grey literature (n=328) demonstrated the infancy of a validated metric to measure farm safety culture. Checklists dominated the dataset (n=53), grounding the measurement of safety at farm-level and responsibility with farmers. These checklists were abundant yet inconsistent, with only one tool providing evidence of a metric from the agency of origin.

Conclusion The value of farm self-assessment checklists are questionable because they end with farmers that may or may not use them. The literature suggests that organisational safety culture is measurable, but the number of employees required to achieve a metric is not fit for purpose for family-farm business structures with few or no paid employees.

Learning outcomes Farm safety culture requires a shareable, repeatable, and long-term measurement for farmers and industry evaluation.

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