The NFU hosted the Safe and Healthy Farming for All Ages event on 30 October in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), aiming to improve health and safety within the farming sector.
As part of the NFU’s latest health and safety initiative, 75 farmers and delegates attended the workshop held in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, which highlighted the importance of a proactive attitude towards minimising risk. Discussion focused on ways farmers can take a more preventative approach to health and safety.
NFU Vice President and Farm Safety Partnership chair Guy Smith opened the event, alongside HSE chairman Martin Temple.
Mr Smith said: “By far the most difficult part of my job as NFU Vice President is when the HSE notifies me of fatalities or injuries on farms.
“It is particularly disheartening that most of these accidents involve similar and reoccurring circumstances such as working in enclosed spaces with animals or on live machinery.
“All industries involve an element of risk that must be managed, but at the moment we recognise the farming sector has a very poor safety record and we are doing all we can to address this.
“In most instances, it only takes a bit of thought or simple precaution to make safe what could be a fatal or life-changing situation.
“I don’t believe that farming is inherently dangerous, yet every day we farmers place ourselves in situations of unnecessary risk."
“We need to adjust this culture as a matter of urgency, learn from each other and our past mistakes, and start preventing the risk from forming in the first place. I think younger farmers are leading the way here, and that everyone working in agriculture can learn a lot from their younger counterparts.
“Accidents are not inevitable. By sharing ways to prevent or minimise risk with friends and neighbours we can drastically improve the safety record within the farming sector.”