Why doesn’t farm safety gear have the same cred as motorbike leathers?

Motorbike leathers are worn like a badge of honour by some of the toughest (and scariest) blokes in the country. They reek of the danger inherent in their metal steeds.

Farmers don’t share this aura yet spend hours every day on bikes and working inches from hundreds of half-tonne animals. The risks are real and the consequences can be heartbreaking.

Following yesterday’s tragic death of an 11-year-old boy, WorkSafe spokesperson Michael Birt told The Weekly Times there had been 14 workplace deaths in Victoria and five of those were on farms.

“A third of the deaths have happened on farms and it’s people doing routine tasks. You don’t get much more routine than moving cattle on a dairy farm,” Mr Birt said.

Despite all of this, some of us hesitate to protect ourselves. I don’t know why. The other day, someone suggested there’s a fear we might “look like sissies”. By all means call me a sissy for looking after myself but I wouldn’t try running that line by a Hell’s Angel.