Farm Safety Week hopes to change attitudes to health and safety

This week is national Farm Safety Week in the UK, an annual event that has taken place over the past four years to highlight the importance of taking health and safety seriously to protect workers on farms.

The National Farmers Unions (NFU) organises the event and is laying on five days of themed guidance and practical advice to try to increase health and safety standards on farms. Each day has a different safety focus, ranging from machinery, children on farms, moving vehicles and livestock.

Farmers must ensure that they have full employers' liability insurance and public liability insurance if they allow members of the pubic onto their farms. Taking measures to ensure staff are trained in health and safety is of utmost importance, but having adequate insurance is also vital to protect employees and the public.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) supports the initiative. Speaking on behalf of the HSE, Rick Brunt responded to the new figures that show 33 agricultural workers died as a result of accident at work last year. He said: "Behind each story is a grieving family, a community in shock, and a farm that needs to continue being farmed no matter what has happened. This year, Farm Safety Week is focusing on the power of the positive. We know that we need to engage with farmers of all ages to make farms safer places to work.”

He went on to add: "As someone who looks after agriculture for the HSE, I see the importance of farm safety first hand. Injuries on the farm happen much more often than they should. We need to work together so that farm safety is acknowledged as important and change ensues.”