Welsh farmers urged to attend free safety awareness workshops

The Wales Farm Safety Partnership (WFSP) has arranged two training workshops as part of its campaign to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries within the sector.

Farming Connect will deliver the fully funded training events to help farmers reduce the risk of accidents and help make their businesses safer.

On average, 32 fatalities occur on British farms each year. They include farmers, members of their families or farmworkers.

See also: Safety culture change needed after spate of on-farm deaths

Thousands more have suffered life-changing injuries or ill-health, and it is widely recognised that an even higher number of accidents go unreported.

The agricultural industry was the biggest cause of work-related fatal injuries in Wales last year, according to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Six deaths were recorded as being linked to farming, forestry and fisheries in Wales between March 2017 and April 2018, 21% of the total number of agriculture worker deaths in Great Britain.

The training events will take place from 1pm to 4pm on:

  • Wednesday 24 October at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, Gogerddan SY23 3EE
  • Thursday 25 October at Great Tre-rhew Farm, Llanvetherine, Abergavenny NP7 8RA

Each event will comprise a series of short, practical demonstrations or presentations on general farm safety, child safety, safe handling of livestock, working safely at heights; operating all-terrain vehicles and farm machinery, and the handling of dangerous chemicals.

‘Catastrophic’ problem

Brian Rees, who chairs the WFSP and is an approved Farming Connect health and safety mentor, said these areas of work show a particularly high incidence of accidents.

“If more farmers learn how to recognise the risks by attending one of our workshops, and then take the necessary steps to reduce them, we’ll be making a very positive start on tackling the problem,” he said.

“Every fatality, every injury, every illness is one too many which can have catastrophic, life-changing effects for farming families.”

The WFSP recently published a free farm safety top tips booklet which you can pick up from any Farming Connect event or you can download it from the Farming Connect website.

Eligible farmers can also apply for up to 22.5 hours of fully funded, confidential on-farm guidance from a recently appointed team of approved farm health and safety mentors, who are now part of Farming Connect’s hugely successful mentoring programme.

Booking is essential for a farm safety awareness event, either online or by calling the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813.