The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today (Monday, March 13) launched a farm-vehicle safety campaign aimed at reducing farm vehicle deaths and injuries.

The workplace safety regulator has created and launched a website for the campaign, which has compiled advice on how to safely operate farm machinery.

Farm vehicles, it said, are the number one cause of deaths and serious injuries on British farms, making up 30% of all fatalities on farms over the past five years equalling 48 lives lost.

HSE’s head of agriculture policy, Sue Thompson, said the agency wants to make 2023 a safer year on British farms by “working together to prevent injuries and deaths”.

“Agriculture consistently has the highest number of fatal and serious injuries of all industry sectors in Great Britain,” Thompson added.

“Over the past five years, the average fatal incident rate is 21 times higher in agriculture than the average across all other industries. That is a shocking statistic.”

Thompson said it is time for a change to make British farms safer, and called for farmers in England, Scotland and Wales to consider three areas of their daily farming activities and “take the right actions to prevent another farming tragedy”.

Machinery safety

The three pieces in the vehicle safety ‘jigsaw’, the HSE said, are: Operating a safe farm; maintaining a safe vehicle; and being a safe driver.

“With significant pressure on British farmers now, we want to support the farming community to show that safety on the farm doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive,” Thompson said.

“There are simple steps you can take today to help keep you and everyone on your farm safe.

“Farmers and farm workers should take a moment to think about what would happen to their families and their farms if they were seriously injured and unable to work.

“When people on farms start their daily routine, they should follow our safe farm, safe driver, safe vehicle advice to help plan the job and complete it safely.”

More information on the HSE’s campaign can be found on its website, along with advice on using vehicles in agriculture safely.