MORE than 1000 farm safety packs for children were delivered last year through a partnership of chemical company BASF Australia and the ag product and service network group AgLink Australia.
The free Safety Champ packs were aimed at boosting farm hazard awareness for children living on farms.
About 18 percent of the injury events on Australian farms involved children under the age of 15 in 2022 and the Safety Champs initiative supports parents and caregivers in conversations with children about farm safety in a fun and educational way.
The fun and educational farm safety themed activity packs were targeted at five- to ten-year-olds and came in a re-usable drawstring bag including:
A Safety Champs program introductory letter
Child-sized safety vest
Noise reducing earmuffs, which meet Australian safety standards
Printable safety themed activities
An ‘Our Farm Safety Pledge’ for families to complete together
An official Safety Champs certificate
The packs were made available to growers and farmers in every agriculture sector, including community programs that educate regionally based children.
Glen Innes Research Natural Resources Advisory Committee in collaboration with project partners including NSW State Government and NAB Foundation, ran a Bush Kids First Aid program throughout 2023 and ordered 40 packs for the children attending the courses.
GLENRAC project manager Karen Bavea said the packs provided an important access point to engage children on the topic of safety in regional and rural areas.
“It’s important that children living in remote areas know how to respond and act in emergency situations.
“It’s also important that they know how to identify and avoid potential hazards, so accidents don’t happen in the first place,” she said.
“It can be hard to find a fun and engaging way to communicate these important messages, and the BASF Safety Champs program has helped to enable this.
“The kids were very excited to receive the safety packs, and now they can be just like the adults they look up to with their own safety vests and earmuffs,” she said.
Agricultural Solutions for BASF in Australia and New Zealand, Gavin Jackson, said Safety Champs is part of BASF’s dedication to strengthening rural communities.
“We want to make the program bigger and better in 2024.”
“It was fantastic to see the runaway success of this year’s Safety Champs program,” he said.
“Partnering with AgLink members has enabled the farm safety message to extend the program beyond cropping and reach livestock farming families.
“Ensuring the safety and livelihood of all in our farming communities is essential, especially for
their youngest members,” he said.
“In 2024 and beyond we plan to grow the program and evolve it to cover different farm safety topics.”
AgLink Australia chief executive officer Ian Scutt said the group was delighted to partner with BASF to deliver a unique program that champions safety culture for our youngest community members in rural and regional Australia.
“It’s clear there is a real desire for improving farm safety and this program is one way farming families can work together to implement measures that can make their farm an even safer and more fun environment to grow up in.”