Saturday, August 24, 2019

Fatal accidents prompt farm safety reminder

August 8, 2019 by  
Filed under Machinery

Two fatal accidents involving children have prompted reminders for farmers to take special care this harvest and during the summer holidays.

Some 39 people have lost their lives on UK farms over the past year, according to the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive. The figures were released at the start of last month’s Farm Safety Week, which raises awareness of safety in agriculture.

Recent accidents include the deaths of a 15-year-old girl in Somerset, who was killed when an ATV she was riding on overturned; and a four-year-old boy in Lancashire, who died after he fell from a moving tractor and was crushed under its wheels.

The Farm Safety Foundation is now urging the whole farming community to make a real changes – by implementing safe working practices on farms. These include safe and secure play areas for children away from the working farm yard.

Farm Safety Foundation manager Stephanie Berkeley said: “Two children lost their lives recently in incidents involving farm vehicles so isn’t it time to sit up, take note and take action? Farming, as an industry, is vital to the UK economy – it is the bedrock of our food and drink industry.

“On a farm, as with any business, the number one resource is the people so why do farmers still give more attention to their livestock, crops and machinery than to themselves and their own wellbeing?”

Farming still has a fatal accident rate 18 times as high as the all industry rate, accounting for more than 22% of all workplace fatalities. Agriculture kills more people than construction, for example, despite employing far fewer people.

“Agriculture is a critical part of our economy,” said HSE head of agriculture Andrew Turner. “But every year we have to report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.”