Blog: How Farm Safety Week can make a difference

Tom Price Farm Safety Week_35716

Farm Safety Week runs from 4 to 8 July. Here, the NFU's farm safety and transport adviser Tom Price explains more:

What stays the same in British farming? Some might say very little especially in light of the Referendum result and recent events. However one thing that does seem to be stuck on permanent replay is agriculture’s poor safety record.

Farm Safety Week started on Monday (4 July) and the NFU is fully behind this initiative to ensure that British farmers are safe during their daily routine. Each day of Farm Safety Week will focus on one area of risk and highlight ways that farmers can assess everyday tasks and work towards reducing preventable accidents.

On Wednesday the fatal injury statistics for Great Britain will be released by the HSE and, although the final numbers are not yet known, all the indications are that agriculture continues to have the poorest record compared to any other industrial sector.

The information currently available from the HSE shows that so far in 2015/2016 25 people have lost their lives in farming related incidents. That number is very likely to increase once the final numbers are made public. Falls from height and contact with machinery are among the most common causes of what are very often preventable accidents.

Life is not risk free, but what we can all do is make sure that are aware of the risks we face on a day to day basis and take precautions to avoid then whenever possible.

This is crucial to avoid preventable accidents. Accidents involving machinery can be reduced by following the Safe Stop procedure and making sure that machines are turned off and secured before any work on them is carried out. Falls from height can be reduced firstly by looking to see whether a contractor is better qualified to do the work or if a work platform is required.

There are lots of pressures on the industry at present and there is a temptation to act first to get a job done without always identifying and thinking through any risks. 

Any injury or fatality has a cost – personal, emotional and financial – we are all working hard to ensure that risks are avoided to make sure that everyone comes home safely at the end of the day.


Last edited on: 04:07:2016

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  • Posted by: Andrew Cooke Posted on: 05/07/2016 18:01:18

    Comment: I used to be a farmer in the UK. A few years ago were combiningin the dark when there was a blockage in the header and my farm hand got out of the cab ( leaving the engine running) and was trying to remove the blockage with his foot, so I got into the cab and shut the engine off. Apparently the battery was dead and all the lights went out. And he said that was clever. To which I replied it's more clever than you maybe spending the rest of your life with no feet or worse.

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