The agriculture industry is working hard to change attitudes towards farm safety and prevent life-changing and fatal accidents.
This year’s HSE figures are a stark reminder of what is a stake – read HSE publishes work-related fatality figures.
The NFU is one of the key supporters of Farm Safety Week, which is managed and funded by the Farm Safety Foundation (otherwise known as Yellow Wellies).
Taking 5 to stay alive
It doesn't matter what aspect of farm safety or your own wellbeing it is, the idea of taking 5 minutes before each task, allows you time to evaluate the task at hand and implement ways to make the task safer.
Use the idea of 'taking 5 to stay alive' to promote regular breaks at a time of year when exhaustion will be high.
Take 5 minutes to check in on your own mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of those you work with.
Share your stories
We’re encouraging members to get involved and share their stories on social media, highlighting the ways they stay safe on farm.
Over the week we want to encourage you and others to #Take5StayAlive.
You can share your stories through videos and images on social media, here are a few tips to help you.
- Think about your message, pick a key safety topic and try to summarise it into 3 points main points.
- Open your video with 10 words that summarise what you are talking about to draw the audience in. Attention spans online are short, you need to grab attention in the first 3 seconds.
- Statistics or emotive messages are a great way to ensure the message resonate with the online audience.
- Be yourself, the more authentic the video, the better. It doesn’t have to be a high-production piece.
- Make it personal to you and your story.
- Choose a backdrop that represents the message. If you are talking about pre harvest checks have a combine in the background.
- Include the NFU’s key message #Take5StayAlive to encourage assessing and managing the risk before each task.
- Be short and to the point – aim for no longer than 30 seconds, short and to the point.
- Use #NFUThinkSafe and #FarmSafetyWeek when sharing the videos.
- Tag @NFUTweets and @yellowwelliesuk for Twitter and @NFULife for Instagram.
We all have a role to pay – let's start making a difference!
Attitudes and behaviours need to change
“While there are signs that attitudes and behaviours are changing in the industry, this change is not coming fast enough – especially for those that have been affected by life-changing or life-ending incidents across the UK and Ireland over the past year,” says Stephanie Berkeley, manager of the Farm Safety Foundation.
“Farm Safety Week is an opportunity to come together as an industry and recognise those lost to, and impacted by, incidents on farms. Whether new to the industry or farming for years, we all have a role to play in improving the poor safety record that we can’t seem to shake.
"This week is about raising awareness of our responsibilities as farmers, farm workers, employees or contractors and providing practical advice to make every day safe.
Farm Safety Starts With Me
“Farm Safety Starts With Me is the theme running through this year’s campaign. We all need to work harder to change behaviours and attitudes towards safety and to work in the right way and work well.
“Farm Safety Starts With Me is the theme running through this year’s campaign. We all need to work harder to change behaviours and attitudes towards safety and to work in the right way and work well.”
Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation manager
"We know that farmers are starting to make decisions that are in their broad self-interest and in the interest of staying safe and staying alive. Everyone in agriculture has a role to play in making the changes we all want to see. Together, we will make farming safer.”
Working for change
Most discussions surrounding farm safety address the poor health and safety statistics that characterise the industry. However, it is important to recognise and remember those who are working to change this, and the ways in which they are trying to achieve this change.”
The key theme this year is getting involved in farm safety and showing how easy it is to become part of the change in agriculture. Members can get involved by sharing ideas of how they keep safe by using the hashtag #NFUThinkSafe
Getting people talking
The first Farm Safety Week set out to raise awareness of the importance of safety in agriculture and trigger the discussion around changing the safety culture in farming and, today, this conversation is still as important as ever. Change can only be achieved if every person involved in farming puts safety at the forefront of everything they do.
As part of Farm Safety Week, ten people are identified as Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Heroes. This is used as an opportunity to reflect on where the industry is with safety, and celebrate those that are making a real difference.
Watch our safety videos
And catch up with other member safety tips on @NFUTweets
Matt's a Farm Safety Hero
NFU Crops Board Chair Matt Culley is one of the Yellow Wellies Farm Safety Heroes for this year. In addition to his work with the board, he has, in recent years, taken on work to raise awareness around safety.
This has included producing a video with SSEN (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks) to promote safe working around overhead lines, delivering farm safety lectures to students at the local college, and producing stickers for trailers to encourage safety on roads at harvest times.
Matt has done all this work at the same time as running his arable farm and contracting business, proving there is always time for safety, regardless of what else is going on in your life and business.
More about the Farm Safety Week
During the past ten years, the annual focus has grown and now involves more than 400 partners in five countries – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The event raises awareness of the impacts of farm accidents on the industry and community and promotes the importance of farming safely.