Farmers urged to make active choices on safety
Safe stop procedure key during harvest operations
Farmers are being urged to make safety their priority after Scotland was revealed to have one of the poorest records in the UK.
The warning has been delivered by Farm Safety Partnership Scotland, who will be focusing on different types of farming activity every quarter to ensure that those working on the nation’s farms hear key messages and learn about what they can do to improve their safety.
It follows on from Farm Safety Week in July and figures which showed that 33 people died across the UK in the agricultural sector last year, with six of those taking place in Scotland.
NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “One death or injury on Scotland’s farms and crofts is frankly one too many and as an industry 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.
“Whether it is carrying out maintenance to a roof, checking over a machine, or working in a field with power lines, injuries and deaths through accidents most of the time are preventable by taking simple steps and precautions.
“This campaign encourages farmers and crofters to make a point of ensuring their working environment is safe to help us work together to reduce the death and injury toll on our farms and crofts.”
The most common causes of death in the agricultural industry continues to involve falls, transport, animals and equipment, with farmers in harvest being urged to utilise the ‘Safe Stop’ method when working with machinery or vehicles - handbrake on, controls in neutral, engine off, keys out.
The statistics show that 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 and eight people have been killed by contact with electricity.
And the data does not take into account the number of injuries on Scotland’s farms and crofts, a number that is believed to be significantly higher.
Mr Walker added: “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.”