Last week was farm safety week, and a poignant reminder that farming has a poor safety record when compared to other sectors of the economy, writes NFU Group Secretary Phil Ingleby.
Last week was farm safety week, and a poignant reminder that farming has a poor safety record when compared to other sectors of the economy.
Sadly, the number of accidents recorded each year gives agriculture the poorest record of any occupation in the UK.
Last year, 33 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 9.12 deaths per 100,000 workers, which is significantly higher than any other industry sector – six times higher than construction. Falls from height and contact with machinery are among the most common causes of what are very often preventable accidents.
All too often, it is easy to forget that behind every fatality ‘statistic’ was a real person with family and friends; people who now have to try and deal with the consequences of that farm accident. Every inquest reveals a personal story of tragedy and lingering sadness for all involved.
The NFU, together with our partners in the Farm Safety Partnership, are working on raising awareness and reducing the risk of harm faced by those in our industry, and encouraging everyone to see health and safety as an integral part of their business.
As we enter the busy harvest period it is worth a brief reminder to remember to use the ‘Safe Stop’ procedure, making sure that machines are turned off and secured before any work on them is carried out.
Life is not risk free, but we can make sure that we are aware of the risks we face on a day to day basis and take precautions to avoid them wherever possible, to make sure that everyone comes home safely at the end of the day.