Farmers For Action’s Steering Committee have released the following safety plea after a stark and worrying rise in the number of farm deaths across the UK in recent months. Ten people died in one month, including one child and a 20 year old woman.
The statement reads: “We are in no doubt that a cash strapped industry can never be a safe industry, therefore, until this problem changes farming families not in a position to purchase all the safety equipment or services that they need must find a safe (maybe slower) way around these safety issue shortfalls.
“We would urge farming families to think once, think twice and look that extra time before acting, keep children safely out of harms way at all times, always provide yourself with a way out when working with dangerous stock and machinery, such as providing a round 200 litre barrel with some water for ballast, placed in the middle of your calving pen or other which you can then move to suit if need be! Note – this is not a failsafe, however, it is a help.
“In the case of machinery keep all handbrakes, brakes and lights properly adjusted and checked, take extra care on hills and do not step in to attach implements until the driver has the tractor clearly in neutral.
“As always, when mixing slurry use extreme care – stock out, mixer in, people out (HSE advice – for at least 30 minutes), then slurry out safely.
“Meanwhile the Bill for legislation on farm gate prices which would return farmers a minimum of the cost of production inflation linked plus a margin across the staples, in return would save £280 million plus in welfare money per annum for Stormont and create 10-20,000 jobs in Northern Ireland, is almost complete and virtually waiting on Stormont getting back to work. It would, if enacted, allow Northern Ireland family farmers to give safety a better chance.”