A farmer who was left with life-changing injuries after falling nine feet from a barn roof said he hoped his story would act as a reminder to others that ’they are not invincible’ and to take health and safety seriously.
In an exclusive interview with Farmers Guardian, Trevor Wilson, who runs 980 sheep at Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, in partnership with his parents, detailed the ’sheer terror’ of his ordeal on May 8.
Mr Wilson had finished the barn roof when he was overcome by the heat and passed out, falling 2.7 metres landing head first.
The fall resulted in Trevor’s second, third and fourth vertebrae becoming dislodged, with the discs pushing into his spinal column.
Ahead of Farm Safety Week (July 20-24), the L & K Group and North West Auctions director said: "In busy times, it can feel like the world revolves around you and the farm, but it does not and it certainly will not if you are not here anymore.
"An incident can change your entire life in a blink of an eye and I am incredibly lucky to be alive."
Mr Wilson was speaking from his hospital bed as the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures revealed agriculture still accounted for 20 per cent of all fatalities in the workplace, despite the number of deaths falling slightly last year.
Now in its eight year, the Farm Safety Foundation’s Farm Safety Week hopes to highlight the work being done to address the industry’s poor safety record through its latest initiative, ’It is Time to Take Safety Seriously’.
It encourages farmers to take safety seriously each and every day through a united approach, involving partners from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation manager, said: "Farmers are starting to make decisions that are in their broad self-interest and in the interest of staying safe and staying alive.
"Young farmers are coming into the industry with improved attitudes to working safely.
"More farmers are being open about looking after their physical and mental well-being and using technology, learning business skills and taking innovative steps to make their farm businesses safe, resilient and sustainable.
"Farm Safety Week may be one week in the year but the Farm Safety Foundation is working all year round to educate, engage and communicate strong and relatable farm safety messages and deliver this change."