Call for more to team up to promote farm safety drive

Organisers of a new campaign to reduce the number of farmland accidents are appealing for more farmers to sign up.

The Farm Safety Partnership, set up 12 months ago to reduce the high number of on-farm deaths and injuries, has seen 25 of the nation’s top farming organisations sign up and has the support of the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) and St John Ambulance.

However, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures show that, despite fewer than 1.5 per cent of the working population being employed in agriculture, the sector is responsible for as much as 20 per cent of fatalities to workers each year.

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In 2010/11 there were 42 fatalities reported and the industry also has a rate of self-reported illness which is typically higher than the average for all industries.

In all more than 430 people have lost their lives on British farms in the past decade.

NFU head of policy services Andrew Clark said: “Since the official launch the group has built up a bank of practical safety advice leaflets which cover areas like machinery, falls, children on farm and overhead power lines, as well as a variety of training courses available, which range from a vocational qualification course to applied training on safety and welfare in markets.

“Organisations involved in the Partnership have also been instrumental in increasing the profile of safety; we’ve had online web debates, seminars, practical training events, a strong safety presence at agricultural shows and articles in the farming press almost every week.

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“Although 25 organisations are now members of the Partnership, we want to see more getting on board.

“It is vital we all continue these positive steps to make a real difference and do all we can to demonstrate that a good safety record is proof of a professional, modern industry.”

There will be a number of safety activities happening at this year’s Cereals event. GrowHow is also actively involved and will distribute ‘Fertiliser Safety Packs’ from their stand and will have a free poster available at the website

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