Welcome to the Sixth Farm Safety Week!
After five years of leading this campaign where we bring together five countries over five days with ONE clear goal – to inspire behavioural change – this year’s campaign will take a slightly different approach.
More than ever, we know the agricultural industry is aware of the issue of farm safety however, this year, rather than focusing on agriculture’s poor safety record and stories of things going wrong, Farm Safety Week 2018 will start talking about when things go right, share good practice and demonstrate what ‘good’ looks like.
It is a worrying fact that the same accidents are still happening and claiming the lives and limbs of too many of our nation’s farm workers however things are changing. Initiatives and training of the next generation of farmers means that tomorrow’s farmers are more aware, more informed and more capable of making educated decisions but awareness is one thing, the time has come for action!
Hence our new strapline – It’s Your Health. Your Safety. Your Choice.
Here at the Farm Safety Foundation, we are delighted to lead the campaign with the support of our partners in the Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland.
To mark the start of Farm Safety Week (16-20 July) HSE has announced its latest annual fatal injuries in agriculture report for Great Britain 2017/2018. 29 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded in the report and the sector continues to account for a large share of the annual fatality count (20%). Farming has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.
Offering his support for the campaign, Farming Minister George Eustice said:
“The farming industry is essential to our national economy – employing more than 340,000 people – and plays a vital role in producing the food that we all know and love.
“Initiatives, such as Farm Safety Week, are important in raising awareness of good workplace practice, and I encourage farmers across the UK to read this week’s case studies, articles and blogs to help understand how they can stay safe at work.”
Over the course of the week, we will be sharing a series of case studies, articles and guest blogs here from England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland. This year, we will look at child safety on farms, the importance of physical and mental wellbeing in the industry and demonstrate what ‘good’ actually looks like.
For the past five years the Farm Safety Foundation has encouraged farmers to stop and think. We have delivered successful campaigns such as Mind Your Head and Who Would Fill Your Boots? We can continue to make powerful and emotive films and offer advice and guidance but we can’t do one thing. We can’t make farmers change their attitude.
Only they can make that change. They have to want to change. They have to decide to change. They have to play their part. They have to take responsibility.
As we say – Your Health. Your Safety. Your Choice!