‘Come home safe’ urges HSE agriculture campaign

Farmers are being asked to “come home safe” as part of a campaign to cut the number of agricultural-related deaths.

The Health and Safety Executive will send out 70,000 “promise packs” over the next month to urge people to make a pledge to take care on farms.

The pack will contain a “Promise Knot” of farm baling twine to act as a visual reminder of the pledge to come home safe.

It will also include a poster with tips from the HSE on how to avoid getting injured or killed.

The HSE’s Judith Donovan said: “On average, more than 45 deaths occur every year on British farms.

“We would like to highlight that this is a partnership to keep farmers safe, not HSE dictating the terms.”

Ms Donovan said deaths on farms over the past decade had been caused by similar activities, so extra care should be taken when working with vehicles and machinery, on roofs and with livestock.

While less than 1.5% of the working population is employed in agriculture, the sector is responsible for between 15 and 20% of fatalities to workers each year, she added.

Jim McLaren, NFU Scotland president, said the campaign was hugely important for the farming industry.

“It will be a success if even one farmer thinks about a risk and does something differently and is still here with their family as a result.

“We hope everyone in rural areas and those involved in farming get to know about the campaign, talk about it and spread the message.

“Do not take risks with your life and your family’s future.”

The three main causes of deaths to agriculture workers in the past 10 years:

  • Transport – 24%
  • Falls form height, especially roofs – 17%
  • Being struck by moving or falling objects – 15%