Continued focus on farm safety needed

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released its annual figures for work related fatal injuries for 2017/18, revealing that 144 workers were fatally injured between April 2017 and March 2018. Of these 29  injuries were sustained by agricultural workers. This is an increase of two from the previous year. The NFU, along with other agricultural organisations, such as the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) is continuing to work with farmers to reduce these numbers.

NFU vice president, Stuart Roberts believes the industry is beginning to see a change in attitude among farmers. “We are seeing the industry come together and shout about the importance of health and safety – even over the past two weeks, more than 200 have attended NFU and FSP health and safety events and numerous county shows have prioritized this issue.”

Mr Roberts said:  “The farm Safety Partnership (FSP) has set a target of halving farm deaths from a base of 29, by 2023 and we are working hard to achieve this. Our ultimate goal is an industry with no fatalities. I am proud to see how the conversation has changed around this subject in recent months and years but it is vital that words are put into action. I am fully aware of how difficult it can be to change culture and habits that have lasted a lifetime on farm but for our own wellbeing, this needs to change.”

Farm safety week begins on July 16, and during it, the NFU will be working with many other organisations to highlight the best farm study practice together with partners in the FSP.

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.