Farm Safety: Tractors and machinery represent a major danger on farm

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Tractors and moving vehicles have claimed the lives of 30 farm workers in the past five years, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ‘Health and Safety in Agriculture Report October 2015’, representing one of the biggest dangers on a farm.

Day Four of the fourth annual Farm Safety Week UK and Ireland focuses on highlighting the issues surrounding transport and practical ways to prevent transport related accidents on the farm.

According to Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Regional Manager Northern Ireland and Scotland, and Farm Safety Partnership member: “Farms have always been hard, physically demanding workplaces, but in the early 20th century, safety concerns evolved when tractors began replacing horses as the main farmer’s aid. These petrol-powered beauties forever reshaped the face of agriculture however they also ushered in an era of mechanised danger.

“A lack of knowledge of safety regulations and personal safety practices at all experience levels puts farm workers at serious risk of debilitating injury or worse. By increasing our knowledge and awareness of safety in all aspects of agriculture, we can begin to challenge, prevent and eliminate unsafe habits and practices, while giving farmers of all ages a sense of independence and control over their own personal safety.”

Keith Morrison, Chief Executive, Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI), added: “Farm safety risks are commonplace on every farm but farm safety actions aren’t always common practice and this is why initiatives like Farm Safety Week are so important in raising awareness and helping to change behaviour. Bringing the whole industry together, for even one week each year, to share a common message means that we are doing something to address the poor safety record.

“The team behind Farm Safety Week believes that a secure, healthy farming industry is everyone’s business, as is the safety of farmers and farm workers. But farmers, and others working in agriculture, need to be aware of, help promote and importantly practice safety measures on a year-round basis,” he concluded.