Milly Fyfe is a well known figure throughout the food and farming industry, former Chair of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and farming advocate. Milly lives on the family farm (which comprises beef, sheep, arable and a few pigs) in rural Northamptonshire with husband Andrew and baby son, Angus…
Milly’s take on Mind Your Head offer a somewhat different perspective to previous blogs but one that should make us all sit up and listen… literally!
Beep, beep, beep… Beep, beep, beep; the morning alarm is blaring out but my husband does not stir. I however am wide awake, as is our 3 months old son. I nudge my husband to wake him up and finally he wakes realising that the alarm is going off. Now this isn’t the norm for our morning routine. Normally the alarm goes off and we leap out of bed. But today Andrew is struggling to hear. He has a bad case of blocked up ears and could not hear much at all.
It got me thinking. If my husband cannot hear the morning alarm, what use is he going to be outside in the yard and how safe is he going to be? He might not hear when the cattle are messing about behind him when he is bedding down, or if somebody shouts for him when he is reversing the loader. It had me really worried.
In his case, his blocked up ears were quickly remedied with some drops, but how many farmers do you know with serious hearing issues, or indeed sight issues. Without your basic senses, how safe are you when working on the farm, dealing with livestock or operating machinery?
It is so easy to overlook such a concern when you are busy or have always managed. And I’m sure there is also a pride issue, not admitting that there may be a problem or a fear of losing independence.
These days it couldn’t be easier to get checked out, so saying you haven’t time isn’t an excuse. Often the local opticians will offer a free hearing test or discounted sight test.
Let’s not forget that many livestock markets offer a drop in service with a local district nurse who can give a quick health check and referral if needed.
So, ask yourself this, when did you last get checked out and how seriously do you take farm safety? Looking after our senses is a quick and easy way of improving everybody’s safety as well as our own wellbeing.
Follow on social media @MillyFyfe