The Australian Centre for Agricultural Health & Safety (ACAHS) is located in the agricultural community of Moree in northwest NSW. The ACAHS is a research centre within the University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School - School of Public Health, with affiliation to the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The ACAHS is nationally and internationally recognised as Australia’s leading centre of research and development in the field of farm injury and farmer health. Its work has been critical to the significant achievements being made in reducing deaths and serious injury on Australian farms, promoted generally through Farmsafe Australia networks and processes. The ACAHS is the only such centre in Australia.
The Centre has drawn together an interdisciplinary team including rural scientists, agricultural and health economists, and public health specialists who are working with the Australian agricultural community, to implement a directed program of research, development and translation aimed at ultimately improving the health and well-being of the farming population in Australia. The team is unique in its approach in bringing public health derived information and approaches into the agricultural sector and in building partnerships with various agricultural agencies to address health and safety. These networks and partnerships, brought together under the Farmsafe Australia umbrella are a cornerstone of its operations and include working relationships with the peak farmers’ organization in Australia, the National Farmers Federation, each of its state affiliates, the Australian Workers’ Union, Country Women’s Association, Tractor and Machinery Association among other stakeholders.
The Centre’s work program focuses on key issues not being addressed by other states or agencies. It maintains the National Farm Injury Data Collection, and has growing links with the rural health worker organisations (rural doctors, rural Divisions of General Practice, Universities, Rural Health Alliance, rural rehabilitation service providers). Projects that are underway and planned include:
- Ongoing farm injury surveillance and reporting by the National Farm Injury Data Centre
- Reducing tractor run-over deaths on farms
- Reducing deaths associated with vehicles, including quad bikes, on farms
- Improving the safety of young people and entry-level workers on farms
- Improving fitness of older farmers and their farms to increase safety of older farmers
- Reducing falls admissions to hospitals of older farmers
- Mental health of farming populations
- Pesticides safety
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