Defra’s farm safety statistics for 2014/2015 are released today. NFU adviser Tom Price explains why health and safety should be a cold-headed business decision.
Every minute counts in agriculture. As costs rise and market forces continue to be unpredictable there is a growing pressure to farm more efficiently.
More of our staff blogs...
Martin Rogers is an NFU environment policy adviser - Spreading the word on our most important assets
John Royle, NFU chief livestock adviser - It's a finely balanced beef market - what's the solution?
Richard Wordsworth is our senior BPS adviser - So, what next for BPS?
Lorna Hegenbarth is an NFU food chain adviser - Teaching children about healthy eating and where their food comes from
Chris Taylor is our membership events manager - Why we're planning our 2016 conference NOW
Ceris Jones is the NFU's climate change adviser - Why farmers are 'too shy' on climate issues
Lucia Zitti is an NFU economist - Why are British lamb prices so low?
Phil Bicknell is the NFU's head of food and farming - Why farmers understand the danger of deflation
But every famer knows that if something goes wrong and someone is hurt then the cost of dealing with an accident will massively outweigh any potential savings.
And then there’s the emotional and mental impact that will send tremors through our lives and the lives of people who know us.
The number of farm fatalities for 2014/15 is released by the Health and Safety Executive today. They show no sign of improvement in the long-term performance of the agricultural industry. So far this year 28 people have died in farming-related incidents in the UK, with livestock and falling objects among the most common causes of death.
Would you be able to live with yourself if a colleague, friend or family member was seriously injured?
As farmers we know when something is risky or unsafe. We know that poorly stacked bales are a danger or that even the most placid livestock can be unpredictable and can cause serious injury.
What we need to do is be aware of all the risks we face on a day-to-day basis and take precautions rather than shortcuts. Would you be able to live with yourself if a colleague, friend or family member was seriously injured and you knew you could have prevented it? I know I couldn’t.
If someone is hurt or worse, dies, as a result of taking cutting a corner then there is no financial saving. It could ruin lives as well as your business. So we simply cannot give in to temptation and take the easy way out when faced with serious health and safety issues.
Farm Safety Week starts on Monday and the NFU and the Farm Safety Partnership asks all farmers to think and act to make our industry safer.
My hope for the coming year is that famers remember that the best result they can have is to come home safe today and every day.