29 August 1997
NFU questions farm safety scheme
By Tony McDougal
A PILOT farm safety scheme, set up by the Transport and General Workers Union to cut agricultural fatalities and accidents, is set to go nationwide despite opposition from the NFU.
The pilot scheme, which has been operating in the south-east, south-west and East Anglia, has won backing in a report to be published in November by Londons Southbank University for the Health and Safety Executive.
Under the venture, which had financial support from the EU Commission, nine trained farm workers visited farms to raise awareness of health and safety issues among farm staff. There have been 100 deaths on farms over the past two years.
The HSE says there is definite scope for a nationwide scheme, but it hasnt got the resources to fund it. The HSE said it would be happy to provide the additional training and backup.
But the NFU said it believed the TGWUs scheme was not the most beneficial way forward, could drive a wedge between farmers and farm workers and would be prohibitively expensive.