Farming leaders have criticised the industry this week for its failure to recognise farm safety as a daily practice.
With agriculture continuing to hog the top spot of work-related deaths, the Farm Safety Foundation has encouraged farmers to identify farm safety as a lifestyle, ‘not a slogan’.
It came as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released an update on the figures reported earlier in the month.
Of the 27 farmers who died, about half were older than 65 but the range hit from three to 80. Vehicle related activities continued to be the highest cause of death, with livestock a close second when considering the annual average.
The highest affected regions were the south-west with seven deaths, and Scotland with five.
NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: “I know all too well the consequences of trying to cut corners just to get a task done, as I found out earlier this year when my foot was crushed by a feed barrier concrete panel.
“If it had been anybody else I would have been thinking how could you be so stupid.
“Had I not been in such a rush to get the panel up to get on with others things and thought about how to do it a bit smarter, that accident would not have happened.”
Martin Temple, HSE chairman warned the industry’s ‘poor record’ must encourage farmers to focus the conversation around Farm Safety Week and re-consider the risks posed on farm.
The industry has been battered by an abysmal safety record already this year, with more than 24 farm deaths since January 1.
Stephanie Berkeley of the Farm Safety Foundation added: “Simple factors such as habit, haste, fatigue and improperly maintained machinery contribute to this perfect storm.
“This Farm Safety Week we hope that by hearing the stories of other farmers and extraordinary people who have had personal experience of farm accidents, we can get farmers of all ages to realise that this week and every week, farm safety is a lifestyle – not a slogan.”