Farm accident reduction welcomed

A fall in the number of work accidents at farms has been welcomed as a sign that industry-led safety initiatives are working.

The number of fatal accidents in agriculture fell from 33 in 2011/12 to 29 in 2012/13, according to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures.

Meanwhile the number of reported major injuries was relatively unchanged, falling from 376 to 375.

Farm Safety Partnership ‘working hard’

The NFU chairs the Farm Safety Partnership and it said such initiatives can have a real effect in reducing the number of accidents at work for those in the agricultural sector.

An industry-led scheme, the Farm Safety Partnership aims to lower both the number of fatalities and serious injuries while improving agriculture’s overall safety record.

It is a collective of organisations working on new ways to help meet the health and safety challenges across the industry.

Its chairman, NFU vice-president Adam Quinney, confirmed the body is “actively working hard” to improve safety in farming.

‘Simple steps cut accidents at work’

“Simple measures can save lives,” he said. “The Safe Stop campaign urges people to ensure handbrakes are in working order on machinery, and that the safe stop procedure is followed (hand brake on, controls in neutral, engine off, keys out).”

Mr Quinney gave a couple of examples of how these relatively straightforward things can help to bring down the number of workplace accidents on a daily basis.

“Telling someone what you are doing, taking a charged mobile phone in your pocket and knowing that a 999 call doesn’t need signal from your provider can also save your life,” he mentioned.

Expert advice on workplace accidents

The HSE recently published statistics showing there has been an 11% decline in all
major workplace injuries compared to 2011/12.

According to the HSE’s provisional data, between April 2012 and March 2013 in Britain there were 19,707 reported major injuries such as amputations, fractures and burns to employees.

This equates to a rate of 78.5 injuries per 100,000 employees, which is down from a rate of 88.5 per 100,000 employees when 22,094 such cases were reported in 2011/12.

For the latest news and expert advice on workplace accidents you can visit Accident Advice Helpline’s blog.

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