New figures show continued focus on farm safety is needed

The NFU, together with other agricultural organisations, is continuing to work with farmers to focus on improving their health and safety on farm and making changes for the better, as new figures1 from the Health and Safety Executive show that farming remains the sector with the poorest safety record.

While agriculture’s safety record has not significantly changed for better or worse compared to the previous year, NFU Vice President and chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) Stuart Roberts believes the industry is starting to see a change in attitude amongst farmers.

Mr Roberts said: “I really believe we are starting to see a shift in perspective amongst farmers towards health, safety and wellbeing, which is why it is disappointing to see farming hold the poorest safety record again.

“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 farmers have attended NFU and FSP health and safety events and numerous county shows have prioritised this issue.

“This is just another example of how farmers are sharing good practice and talking to each other about how to reduce risk on farm.

“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.

“The Farm Safety Partnership 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.”

Farm Safety Week begins on the 16 July and the NFU will once again be working in partnership with many other organisations in highlighting best farm safety 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.