Farmers have been urged to take extra caution this festive period to ’stay safe and well’ as the nights darken and the weather worsens.
Farmers have been urged to think about who would fill their boots if something serious was to happen over the festive period.
Despite a drop in on-farm fatalities over the last year compared to the five-year average, the NFU has raised concerns these figures could creep back up over the winter months.
The NFU encouraged farmers to take extra care and ’stay vigilant’ throughout the upcoming weeks and into the new year.
NFU vice president Guy Smith said: “The last thing any of us want to hear about, particularly over Christmas, is a farming fatality, a grieving family and a community in shock.
“There needs to be an element of common sense and safety involved in all decisions – because ‘I am in a hurry’ is just not good enough.”
Mr Smith said although on-farm death figures dropped to 29 last year, these numbers had not been maintained and he expected the average is set to rise to nearer 37 for the 2016/17 period.
Falls from a height accounted for 14 per cent of fatalities over the past ten years with electricity accounting for 29 per cent and contact with electricity 3 per cent.
“As winter closes in farmers just need to be mindful of working alone and doing jobs around the farm in adverse weather conditions,” he added.
“Instead just ask yourself ‘who would fill your boots?’ if something serious were to happen to you.”