Farm Safety Partnership Scotland (FSPS) turns its focus on Scotland’s farm safety record which continues to be one of the poorest across the UK.

The body, which consists of key industry stakeholders, will be focusing on different types of farming activities each quarter to deliver key messages and encourage those working and living on Scotland’s farms and crofts to take action.

The campaign

Monday, September 3, marks the beginning of the campaign that follows on from Farm Safety Week in July which is urging farmers to make an active choice about their safety.

The months of September and November will focus on general maintenance on farm falls from heights and safety at harvest.

Last year alone saw 33 deaths in the agricultural industry in the UK, with five of those deaths occurring in Scotland.

According to the FSPS, the most common causes of death in the agricultural industry continues to involve falls, transport, animals and equipment.

Over the last five years 38 people have been killed in the UK by a moving vehicle, 12 people have been killed by contact with machinery, 10 have been killed by asphyxiation or drowning, including in grain stores or pits and slurry pits.

A total of eight people have been killed by contact with electricity.

This data does not take into account the number of injuries on Scotland’s farms and crofts; a number that the FSPS believes to be significantly higher.

Harvest safety

For those amidst harvest safety must be a primary concern.

FSPS representatives encourage farm workers to practice the ‘Safe Stop’ method when working with machinery, equipment and vehicles - "handbrake on, controls in neutral, engine off, keys out".

National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland chief executive, Scott Walker said: “One death or injury on Scotland’s farms and crofts is frankly one too many we need to take action to make a conscious effort to put our safety, and that of those living and working around us as a priority.

“This autumn, it is about your safety, your choice, and as the darker nights draw in, and many are rushing to get the job done it is important to take a step back to make sure you are working safely."