FARMERS tell their stories to save lives on farm

Strong messages ahead of Farm Safety Week: 4 – 8 July 2016

NFU Scotland will be using Farm Safety Week, which takes place from 4 to 8 July, to highlight measures farmers and those working within the industry can take to ensure safety on farms.

The Union, working in conjunction with Farm Safety Partnership Scotland, will be issuing case studies throughout Farm Safety Week of well-known farmers within the industry who have survived accidents on farm and the impact this has had on their own health and that of their family and business.

From falls and transport to child safety, Farm Safety Week will ask “Who would fill your boots?” if something were to happen to you on farm and cast the spotlight on people who have been touched by life-changing accidents as well as offering support and guidance for those working in this dynamic but dangerous industry.

The partnership – a collaboration between NFU Scotland, Health and Safety Executive, Scottish Government and NFU Mutual – is working to significantly reduce the tragic toll of people who are killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s farms and crofts each year.

Last year’s HSE Health and Safety in Agriculture report stated that there were 33 fatal injuries to workers in agriculture in 2014/2015, the same as the five-year average. Despite more noise around farm safety, farmers of all ages are still taking risks when working and this has to stop.

During Farm Safety week, the initiative will use case studies to highlight the following dangers:

  • Falls – Aberdeenshire farmer Ian Argo
  • Equipment/Machinery – South Lanarkshire farmer Robert Hamilton
  • Transport – James Armstrong of Castle Douglas
  • Animals – Morag Kilpatrick, Ayrshire
  • Child safety measures on farm – the Milne family, Fife More/…

NFU Scotland Chief Executive, and member of Farm Safety Partnership Scotland, Scott Walker, commented: “Farms can be dangerous places so it is important that everyone takes the necessary steps to stay safe while working. One death within the industry is far too many, and it is not just the initial impact but the long-term effect it can have on families and on the farm business.

“The Farm Safety Partnership is working to change behaviours and attitudes by promoting measures that can be taken to reduce the risks of everyday farm jobs. Most people working within the agricultural industry will be able to recall a close call situation that could so easily have resulted in serious injury or even fatality. By adopting some simple steps as part of everyday working practices we can reduce the number of accidents and deaths on Scotland’s farms.

“We are grateful to those who have given the time to tell their stories in the hope that others will take note and not make the same mistakes they did.”

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