This Farm Safety Week, farmers are being reminded to spend five minutes each day checking over operations on their holding.
Figures show a fall in fatal accidents this year to 27 workers – down from 29 workers in 2012/13. But agriculture remains the industry with the highest rate of serious and fatal accidents.
In 2012/13 29 farm workers and seven members of the public died in farm-related accidents.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “While any drop in the statistics is welcome news, we must not forget that every number represents many shattered lives. The NFU is actively working to help raise awareness of health and safety issues across the industry. The Farm Safety Partnership is leading the way to raise awareness - with each organisation that is represented dedicated to raising safety standards.
“Just taking a moment to stop and think about what could go wrong could save your life. Farm Safety Week is designed to raise awareness of health and safety and advise of simple steps that everyone can take. I would urge everyone to check equipment such as machinery and ladders for faults, wear appropriate footwear particularly when dealing with livestock to prevent crush injuries and make sure that you carry a mobile phone on you in a secure chest pocket - calling 999 or 112 will work wherever there is any mobile coverage - not just from your mobile provider.
“The NFU produces a number of safety related briefings and business guides to help farmers consider the risks from their activities. We also support new initiatives like the NFU Mutual Farm Safety Foundation which is looking at challenging perceptions in the industry. We are committed to helping to reduce these accident statistics and believe that a good safety record is proof of a professional, modern industry.”
The Farm Safety Partnership, which is chaired by the NFU, is an industry-led initiative committed to improving agriculture’s safety record and to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries.
Over the past few months, the partnership has launched the ‘Safe Stop’ campaign which focuses on vehicle safety and the Stop! Think! Slurry Gas campaign designed to help farmers reduce the risk of an incident.
Throughout the week, the Yellow Wellies campaign, which features as its flagship symbol a pair of nine-feet-tall yellow wellingtons, will ask the farming community “Who would fill your boots?” in the event of an accident or death.
NFU President Meurig Raymond has signed the wellies with other farmers to remind people to stay safe on their farm.
This week's safety programme
- Monday: Overhaul your Overalls – wear the right safety gear with a secure chest pocket for your phone
- Tuesday: Ditch a Duff Shaft – make sure your PTO shafts are safely covered
- Wednesday: Act on accident stats – Causes of farm accidents revealed in annual HSE farm accident statistics, published this day
- Thursday: Don’t Step on my Toes - protect yourself from livestock injuries
- Friday: Lose a Lousy Ladder – make sure your ladder is safe to climb.