Young Farmers’ Clubs across England and Wales have pledged their support for a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) campaign to cut the high number of deaths each year from unnecessary farming accidents.
Working in agriculture remains one of the most dangerous ways to make a living. It accounts for around one in five work-related deaths every year, although only 1.5 per cent of the working population is employed in the sector. Across Great Britain, 38 workers lost their lives in farming-related incidents between January and November 2009 and figures for 2008/09 show that 589 people were seriously injured in farming accidents.
Nearly 15,000 farmers have already signed up to the campaign. And NFYFC Vice Chairman James Chapman, who lost his arm in an accident that could have also cost him his life, is calling on all 23,000 YFC members to make a New Year’s resolution to help cut the annual death toll by pledging to come home safe from the fields.
“The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has proudly made the promise, to come home safe. Encouraging farmers to work safely has always been one of our key priorities and during 2010 we will be working closely with the HSE to promote the campaign in our clubs across the country.
“I know only too well what can happen when safety isn’t put first. I lost my left arm when it was caught in an unguarded PTO shaft. It happened because I, like many farmers, was working under pressure trying to get a job done as quickly as possible.
“Today I regularly speak to young farmers, using my experience positively as a warning of how important it is that they take the time to consider their safety and what can happen if they don’t,” said James.