The CEO of the nation's peak horse safety body has welcomed a new TAFE NSW Goulburn course aimed at helping stem the alarming tide of horse-related deaths and injuries in the region.
For the first time ever, a short course focused solely on safety around horses - a Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Safe Horse Handling - is being offered at TAFE NSW Goulburn from September 13.
According to Safe Work Australia, an average of 11 people each day are hospitalised nationwide due to horse-related incidents, and about 20 people each year are killed.
Horse Safety Australia CEO Nina Arnott said the TAFE NSW course would play a critical role in equipping students with the practical skills to minimise the inherent dangers in working with horses.
"People can be so casual and complacent around horses but there's a growing recognition that there are very real dangers posed," Mrs Arnott said.
"I'm very pleased to hear TAFE NSW is running this course and I'm confident it will make a real difference."
TAFE NSW Goulburn equine teacher Linda Molloy said the course is suited to both those currently working in the industry and those considering pursuing an equine career.
"Working around horses is inherently dangerous and risky and if you have people working for you, it's your responsibility to ensure they are working safely," Ms Molloy said.
"Thankfully, the culture of the industry is changing. Working around horses used to be seen as a hobby but the workforce is part of a massive industry.
"This TAFE NSW course is all about giving students the hands on skills to recognise and prepare for the risks associated with working around horses."
The course covers units in horse behaviour, safe work practices and horse handling across a range of equine sectors.
It will run primarily online with a five-day hands-on practical lesson at the end of the course and is being offered fee-free to students eligible under the JobTrainer criteria.
If you'd like to find out more about enrolling in the course or any other TAFE NSW course, call 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
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