Farming and paramedic expertise combine in rural safety workshop

13 December 2017

New Hope Group’s commitment to improving safety outcomes in the rural communities around New Acland Mine continues with a recent workshop on animal safety at Kulpi Pub.

Part of a larger rural safety partnership between New Hope Group and LifeFlight, the workshop series aims to combine local farming experience with LifeFlight’s expertise in first response care.

Led by experienced LifeFlight paramedic Gavan Clark and New Acland Mine safety representative, Stewart Sherrington, the workshop focused on the importance of having proper preventative and first-response safety measures in place for farmers working around animals.

During the workshop Maclagan farmer Jenny Ballon shared her firsthand insight into how vital safety considerations can be when dealing with animals on the farm.

"One morning I was bending down to open a gate in our cattle yard and a large bullock charged me, threw me a couple of metres, and trampled me" Jenny said.

"For me, it was a silly mistake that was nearly fatal."

"The workshop walked us through a couple of smart and easy preventative safety measures to keep in mind when working on the farm."

"Some of them were really simple like making sure you can always contact someone for help even if mobile reception is poor."

New Acland Mine General Manager David Vink said the series will continue in the new year with a workshop exploring safety for youth in rural areas.

"Bringing this rural safety initiative to our community is really important to us because our industry has learned that accidents are preventable and with a lot of effort and attention, mining has become a safer place to work," David said.

"We’d really like to pass on some of this knowledge so our community can benefit from our experience."

"Despite the best laid plans we know that unfortunately accidents do still happen and if the worst occurs an effective emergency response is critical."

"We are passionate about supporting first response skills for locals, so they know what to do while waiting for professional help, like LifeFlight, to arrive."

"Last financial year alone LifeFlight responded to over 30 farm-related accidents in the areas surrounding New Acland Mine."

"With this in mind we’ve also rolled out Community First-Aid Kits in key communities around New Acland Mine and continue to provide financial support to LifeFlight’s aeromedical services."