NFU Scotland is using Farm Safety Week to highlight measures farmers and those working within the industry can take to ensure safety.
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.
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.
Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed that over the past decade almost 80 men, women and children have died on Scottish farms and significantly more have been badly injured as a result of farming activities.
That brings a catalogue of heartbreak and misery to numerous Scottish families and rural communities each year.
During Farm Safety Week, the initiative will use case studies to highlight the following dangers:
○Falls – Aberdeenshire farmer Andrew Moir and Peter Stewart of Dunfermline;
○Equipment/Machinery – Ayrshire farmer Tony Miller of Stewarton;
○Transport – Johnny Mackey of Perthshire;
○Animals – Carmen Wood of Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire;
○A special feature on child safety on farms.
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 has on family and on the farm business.
“The Farm Safety Partnership intends to change behaviours and attitudes by promoting the steps to reduce the risks of common farm jobs.
“Most people 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 story in the hope that others will take note and not make the same mistakes they did.”
Farm Safety Week was first launched in 2013 and aims to cut the toll of accidents which give agriculture the poorest record of any occupation in the UK and Ireland.