Harvest safety drive steps up a gear

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Farmers are being urged to make health and safety their top priority during harvest in a new online initiative from NFU East Anglia.

Covid-19 restrictions mean a series of on-farm health and safety workshops have been postponed, so we are making the information available on the web instead.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts and NFU Farm Safety and Transport Adviser Tom Price will feature in a webinar on Thursday 25 June.

This will be backed by a series of videos looking at areas including vehicle safety, working near to power lines and safe stacking within farmyards, as well as a video focusing on mental health.

NFU East Anglia Regional Director Rachel Carrington said: “Everyone in farming will know of someone who has been killed, or seriously injured, in an agricultural accident and the impact this has on their business but, more importantly, on their family, staff and their friends.

“We must do all we can to improve agriculture’s record on fatalities and serious injuries.

“Even though we can’t hold our normal pre-harvest workshops on farm we hope this virtual workshop will highlight these vital health and safety messages.

“An hour or two spent online could, literally, be a life-saver.”

The latest available HSE figures show that 39 people were killed on farm in one year alone. Of those killed during 2018/19, 32 were agricultural workers and seven were members of the public, including two children.

More than one third (36%) of all farming fatalities involved moving agricultural vehicles.

Stuart Roberts said attitudes towards farm safety were starting to improve but there was still a long way to go.

“The Farm Safety Partnership has set a target of halving farm deaths, from a base of 29, by 2023 and we are working hard to achieve this.

“Our ultimate goal is an industry with no fatalities,” he said.

NFU members can register for the webinar by emailing bWVldGluZ3NlYUBuZnUub3JnLnVr or by calling 01638 672111. The videos will be available to view via the NFU East Anglia regional pages from 25 June.

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