The long-term trend of accidents on farms is continuing to cause concern right across our industry. This year's #FarmSafetyWeek starts on 19 July and we're asking you to share your tips on how to keep yourself, your family, your workers and the visitors to your land safe.
The Farm Safety Partnerships (FSP) across Britain are supporting the campaign, run by the Farm Safety Foundation, which is this year focusing on how effective risk management and taking preventative measures can go a long way to reducing accidents on farm.
The aim of Farm Safety Week is to:
- raise awareness of the importance of safety in agriculture. We must protect our most valuable assets – the people working and living in farming businesses the length and breadth of Great Britain
- help promote good safety practices and share positive stories on how the safety record can be changed often with some very simple and cost-effective changes to behaviours and attitudes such as wearing a helmet every time an ATV is used. NFU members can buy helmets at a discounted price – see here for details
- demystify what managing risk involves and encourage all living and working in a farm business to take a minute, think about tasks and take measures to make themselves safer. See the NFU Business Guide on risk assessments here
- shout out that the most important asset is a farm business is the people living and working in it. Protecting the physical and mental wellbeing of farming people is key to any successful farm and is a 24/7 and 365 day a year priority for us all.
Sharing your experiences
“By sharing our own experiences, ideas and examples of tried and tested safety measures we can provide each other with solutions to a problem which won’t go away on its own.”
Stuart went on the say, “This week I will be sharing what measures I have put in place to keep myself and my staff safe, especially as we are about to embark on the busiest time of year – harvest – from providing high visibility clothing to ensuring all workers take sufficient rest breaks. I have also found it really useful to look at safety from a business perspective. We are the most valuable asset to our businesses, so our safety should be the priority.”
You can share your health and safety stories with the NFU, England Farm Safety Partnership and Farm Safety Foundation on social media by using the following hashtags #ComeHomeSafe and with the #FarmSafetyWeek.
Turning the tide
“It’s time to turn the tide on farming’s poor safety record – with words, with actions and with change. So let’s use this week as an opportunity to inspire and learn from each other, to protect our businesses and, ultimately, to protect ourselves.”
Well-known Welsh TV presenter, farmer and an ambassador for the Wales FSP Alun Elidyr said: “By working together to raise awareness of the importance of farm safety, we can reach out to all those working at grass roots level, encouraging them to put in place the often simple steps and precautions that will reduce the number of tragic fatalities and life-changing injuries that occur in our industry year on year.
“We can and must carry on campaigning to keep British farms safe places to work, and #FarmSafetyWeek provides us with a great opportunity to reach out to all those working in our industry and whose behaviours we need to influence.”
Make safety your prioirty
Activities during the week will include:
- Monday 19 July – the release of detailed statistics from the HSE on farming fatal injuries during the last reporting year April 2020 to March 2021.
- Tuesday 20 July – a focus on working hours and the need to strike a balance between getting the job done and making time to rest, to recharge batteries and have a break from work to connect with family and friends which is important for wider wellbeing.
- Wednesday 21 July – how some simple changes to attitudes, behaviours and the way some simple everyday farm tasks are carried out can make a real difference to safety and help reduce deaths and serious injury. Good farm. safety does not cost the earth but not doing it may cost a life. The finalists of the NFYFC Farm Safety Award judged by Hannah Jackson and Stephanie Berkeley from the Farm Safety Foundation will be announced.
- Thursday 22 July – how farmers can help visitors to farm and the countryside stay safe and enjoy their experience
- Friday 23 July – a focus on the ‘health’ in health and safety and how looking after your back, hearing and lungs all go towards making sure a career in farming is successful, rewarding, and healthy.
For more information
- Understanding risk management
- Working hours: How to get the right balance
- Read our analysis of HSE's fatal accidents report for 2020/21
- What's the cost of farming accidents
- Visit our NFU online Health, Safety and Wellbeing pages