As an Aussie farmer, you’ll know that farms can be one of the most dangerous places to work. Managing risks and hazards on a farm can be daunting when you consider the depth of responsibility, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious. At Western General Insurance, we know that a prevention is better than a cure, which is why we want to help farmers in Horsham, Nhill, Victoria and beyond keep up to date with their safety checks. By investing time and effort in reducing or eliminating risks, you’ll reap what you sow and protect your livelihood from the unexpected.
What are my risks as a farmer?
The Australian agriculture industry operates in uncertain climatic and market conditions that pose a variety of risks to farmers. The Aussie weather isn’t shy of mixing things up every now and again, and Victoria is certainly no exception. It can feel like summer in the morning and winter by the afternoon, keeping farmers on their toes at all times. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, such as drought, making risk-management ever more essential. These conditions can threaten production and increase the possibility that your yield or output levels could be lower than projected. Production risk can also result from damage due to insect pests and disease despite undertaking control measures, as well as failure of equipment or machinery such as an irrigation pump.
Financial risk could mean that you don’t have sufficient cash to meet expected obligations, which could be due to lower than expected profits. Sources of financial risk might be unexpected machinery replacements, or market conditions such as the loss of a valuable wholesaler.
Identifying and reducing hazards on your farm
To help make your farm a safer place, you should identify and reduce any foreseeable hazards related to your property, land and employees. All farmers need to be familiar with the OHS Regulations, Australian Standards and Industry Guides associated with their industry and place of work. You’re responsible, by law, to ensure that any health and safety threats are controlled on your farm.
We highly recommend that you check out this 15 minute farm safety check from Work Safe Victoria. Rate the safety of your farm using this check list so that you can reduce any common hazards and ensure compliance with health and safety policies.
Don’t just plough through the list, hatch a plan to make it a regular routine in order to protect your employees, and your livelihood. From fire hazards, equipment storing, hearing protection and regular machinery maintenance, you can measure each hazard and plant safe practices on your farm.
Insurance for farmers
For farmers, it’s critical to ensure you have the right insurance and the right amount of coverage for your business. Some basics include:
- Farm and crop insurance: Whether you’re farming barley, canola or wheat, you’re exposed to the risks of extreme weather and damage due to insect pests and disease. With this insurance, you’ll be protected from loss in value, production and yield should your crops become damaged.
- Farm liability protection: You can never fully minimise the risk of injury or accident. Your insurance should protect you from costs incurred as a result of liability issues such as injury to an employee or property damage, as well as legal defence and medical payments.
- Transport and machinery insurance: From heavy motor transport to machinery breakdown, your assets should be insured so that unexpected costs and replacements don’t put you out of pocket and potentially out of business.
How we can help
At Western General Insurance, we have access to market leading cover and can provide you with the right insurance solutions for your farm’s needs. We work closely with farmers to identify their specialised needs so that they’re covered should the unexpected occur. Contact us today to find out more.