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February farm deaths show figures quadrupled

February figures for farm fatalities have jumped more than four times the average.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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February smashes ten year average as farm fatalities quadruple

Previous averages from the last ten years suggest the average number of farm deaths for February lies at around 2.3 with only around seven per cent of fatal accidents happening at this time of year.


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February figures

Machinery maintenance: 4

Livestock handling: 1

Run over by farm vehicle: 3 (one a child)

Trees: 2

Vehicle overturn: 1

Falling straw bales: 1

But shocking figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have this month warned numbers have been much higher.

 

In February there has been ten farm fatalities, up more than four times its usual.

 

There have also been two incidents involving falling trees.

 

The latest incident happened on February 28, in Suffolk, when a farmer was ’struck by a falling machine’ after attempting to disconnect machinery from a tractor when it fell onto him.

 

It came as the third of its kind this month alone.

 

Incidents were also rife in Gloucestershire, Aberdeenshire, Somerset, Denbighshire, North Yorkshire, London, Devon, Fife, Norfolk, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders.

 

Timely reminder

Farmers have been urged to take the news as a 'timely reminder' that no matter what the time of year, safety awareness and management of risk should be at the fore front.

 

NFU vice president and Farm Safety Partnership chairman Guy Smith said: “We urge our members to take some time to make safety a priority. It just might save you more time and money than you think - but more importantly keep you alive.

 

“Check, check and check again that vehicles are properly maintained. Something as simple as topping up brake fluid or repairing a load indicator light could mean the difference between life and death.

 

“As many farms are multi-purpose homes, businesses and leisure destinations, keeping a farm as safe as possible will safeguard everyone’s well-being.”

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