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Farmers urged to keep taking safety seriously following 37.5 per cent decline in fatalities

The Farm Safety Foundation (FSF) has urged farmers to keep taking safety seriously following a 37.5 per cent decline in farm fatalities.

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Farmers urged to keep taking safety seriously following 37 per cent decline in fatalities

The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics revealed the number of farm fatalities has decreased, with 20 farm workers killed on farms in 2019/2020 compared to 32 in 2018/2019 - a 40 year low.

 

Farm transport was the biggest cause of death, and one member of the public, a four-year-old child, was killed on farm.

 

But the findings showed agriculture still has the highest rate of fatal injuries, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of work fatalities.

 

Adrian Hodkinson, head of agriculture, HSE, said: “Agriculture is a vitally important part of our economy.

 

“But every year we report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.


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“It is a very sad fact that most of the deaths and life-changing injuries are completely avoidable and the causes well known.

 

“The precautions to prevent people being killed and/or really seriously injured on farms are usually straightforward.

 

“It is not acceptable that agriculture continues to fail to manage risk in the workplace.

 

“We need everyone to play their part to change their own behaviours and do things the right way (rather than the way it has always been done) and challenge poor practices whenever they are seen.”

 

Seriously

 

This year, Farm Safety Week, running from July 20-24, has urged farmers and farm workers to take safety seriously to reduce the number of life-changing and life-ending incidents on farms.

 

Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation manager, said: “This year’s HSE report shows a record year, with fatal injuries in the industry at a nearly 40 year low.

 

“While this is to be encouraged and welcomed, each and every death is one too many.

 

“We need to work harder to change behaviours and attitudes towards safety and to work in the right way and work well.

 

“We know farmers are starting to make decisions that are in their broad self-interest and in the interest of staying safe and staying alive.”

 

Higher

 

According to FSF, the five-year fatal injury rate was nearly six times higher for over 65s compared to the 16-24 age group.

 

“Young farmers are coming into the industry with improved attitudes to working safely,” added Ms Berkeley.

 

“The message is clear from this year’s report - whether it is due to better training, better agility or better attitudes, young farmers are less likely to have a fatal incident at work than older farmers.”

 

The campaign this year will focus on the aftermath of Covid-19 and the effects on farmer wellbeing, child safety on farms, technology and rural road safety.

 

For more information on Farm Safety Week visit www.yellowwellies.org or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook using the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek

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