New campaign aims to halve number of farm deaths by 2023

A new campaign to improve farm safety hopes to slash the number of farm fatalities by half in just four years.

The Farm Safety Partnership has this week launched its safety campaign for 2019, which aims to work towards its target of halving farm fatalities by the end of 2023.

Agriculture has the poorest safety record of any industry in Britain. Latest figures show that 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain in 2017-18 – around 18 times higher than the all-industry fatal injury rate.

The initiative aims to coordinate messages across the industry by looking at specific actions each season and promoting good practice in these areas.

These key areas will include transport and machinery, handling livestock, child safety and working at height.

The first quarter of 2019 will focus on promoting ways in which farmers can stay safe when in transport. A social media campaign will promote good practice in this area using the hashtag #DriveSafetyForward.

Over the next few months, the Farm Safety Partnership will be urging all farmers and farm workers to:
  • Follow the Safe Stop procedure every time you leave the cab;
  • Always wear a seat belt;
  • Drive legal and safe every time;
  • Make your farmyard a safe yard.

National Farmers’ Union vice president and chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership Stuart Roberts said: “We are all aware that agriculture has a terrible track record when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, and the Farm Safety Partnership is working with the industry to reverse this.

“I genuinely believe we are starting to see farmers and their workers responding and it’s now time to redouble our efforts in this area. Initiatives launched by the NFU and other FSP partners are having a positive effect, but we need to see more action on the ground.

With the partnership delivering a coordinated campaign and looking at specific actions each season, we can really focus our approach on changing behaviours.

“I would urge all farmers and industry workers to support this incredibly important campaign which will work towards driving safety forward, saving lives and making our industry the best it can be.”

A Farm Vehicle Check List is available at the NFU’s stand at LAMMA, which provides the legal requirements and guidance in regard to vehicle maintenance.