Farmer’s plea for better working safety

A farmer whose arm was torn off by an exposed PTO shaft is urging the industry not to take safety shortcuts.

Gwilym Williams’ lost his arm in 1983 while he was operating a slurry pump. He believes that progress has been made on farm safety awareness in the years since his accident but suggests the industry still has a long way to go.

“Only the other day I saw a young man operating a slurry tanker without a PTO guard, performing exactly the same task that led to my accident,” said Mr Williams, who supported NFU Cymru’s farm safety campaign at the Royal Welsh Show.

The union had spearheaded a summit earlier this year to improve farm safety and the organisations involved met again last week.

NFU Cymru president, Ed Bailey, said it was vital to raise the safety profile. “This is not going to be a quick-fix campaign unfortunately,” he said.

Gwilym Williams believed time and cost were the main reasons for safety shortcuts but he urged farmers and contractors not to take unnecessary risks. “No-one thinks it will happen to them until it does – I was one of those people,” he said.

For more from the Royal Welsh Show 2011, see our dedicated web page.

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