A partnership made up of several leading safety organisations and government has come together to launch new advice on preventing farming accidents in Scotland.
The Farm Safety Scotland Partnership is a coming together of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland, insurance company NFU Mutual, the HSE and the Scottish Government – and is based on the premise that every single farming tragedy is one too many.
Tragic farming accidents
The campaign launch comes just a week after a teenager tragically suffocated on a Borders farm.
Eighteen-year-old Zach Fox was working at a farm near the village of Denholm in Roxburghshire when he fell into a silo tower from 50ft.
Recent figures published by the HSE show that almost 80 other men, women and children have died on farms and crofts in the last decade alone. When serious injuries are also taken into account, this figure rises dramatically.
Over the last 10 years, 26 people on Scottish farms have been killed when struck by a moving vehicle, or their own vehicle overturned, while a further 13 have died as a result of working from height.
Nine further workers lost their lives with incidents involving livestock and six people came into fatal contact with dangerous equipment or machinery.
In fact in Britain as a whole, agriculture has been the most dangerous industry to work in, on a fatalities per worker basis since 2010.
And unlike those working in heavily-manned factories or offices, accidents among those working in rural areas can remain undetected for long periods of time – when early medical attention could prove vital.
Campaign for farming safety
The launch of the Farm Safety Scotland Partnership happened at The Black Isle Show in the village of Muir of Ord in Ross-shire, an event near the top of the country’s agricultural calendar.
A new leaflet, Working Together to Save Lives, outlines the most common dangers on farms – in terms of Falls, Animals, Transport and Equipment, and the chief message is to urge crofters and farmers to not leave their safety to FATE.
If you have been involved in an accident on a farm that left you requiring medical attention, or unable to work, get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline, which will be able to advise on the right course of action for claiming compensation. Their freephone helpline is available 24/7 on 0800 689 0500.