Coronavirus: Farmers told to avoid injuries to take pressure off health system

A rural safety advocate says farmers need to do their best to avoid farm injuries to keep the pressure off the health sector during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Primary industries and those who supply them have been deemed an essential service, however will need to follow strict rules to stop the spread of the virus.

Agricultural Leaders' Health and Safety Action Group general manager, Tony Watson, said it was important that farmers were especially mindful of avoiding farm injuries and accidents.

"It doesn't give us special powers in terms of injuries and fatalities just because we are an essential industry," said Watson.

"Obviously the emergency departments and medical professionals will be stretched over the next wee while and the last place any of us want to end up is in the emergency department or doctors room," he told Rural Today.

Even small farm injuries would place an extra burden on doctors, he said.

"We would normally just go and get it sorted out but we don't want to contribute to the stress that medical professionals will be under, so just take extra care."

He advised farmers to take a moment to plan before they started a job, and ask three key questions.

"Visualize the job you are about to do ask what could go wrong, what am I doing about it, and is that enough?"

Listen to the interview.