Farm safety is firmly on the curriculum for the new intake of students at the Scottish Agricultural College, with practical advice and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive.

The latest edition of HSE's free Farmwise guide is being used to get the next generation of farmers to understand the risks they face in what is one of Britain's most dangerous industries, and the simple steps they can take to keep safe.

Though agriculture employs only about 1.5% of the working population it accounts for around 20 per cent of work-related deaths every year. 26 workers lost their lives during 2008/09.

HSE Inspector Lawrence Murray down on the farm with students from the Scottish Agricultural College

Said HSE inspector, Lawrence Murray, linked up with students at Alderston Mains farm just north of Haddington.

"The idea is to stamp out bad working habits before they begin. Tractors, complex machinery, lifting and carrying heavy loads, as well as working from heights, all make the farm a hazardous environment where workers need to take extra care."

John Elcock, lecturer at the Scottish Agricultural College and a representative of the college's Learning Division, Health and Safety Committee, said:

"We consider health and safety on farms a topic of paramount importance and so welcome the input from HSE."

Jim Mclaren, NFUS President, added:

"Any death at work is one too many. These accidents destroy lives, whole families and farm businesses. The work of HSE is of massive importance to the industry and we wholeheartedly support it."

Meanwhile, HSE is gearing up to begin the next phase in its campaign to raise awareness of the dangers in agriculture in a bid to reduce death and injury.

The 'Make the promise. Come home safe' campaign, which launched a year ago, has already generated around 15,000 supportive responses from farmers. The December push will be encouraging more farmers to sign up as well as encouraging those who have, to keep the promise.


Tag Cloud