Safety experts at Royal Welsh Show

24 July, 2009

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been at the Royal Welsh show this week to educate farmers about the dangers of their profession.

HSE board member Sandy Blair was joined by Robin Foord at the show. Foord runs a large mixed farm in Monmouthshire and lost his leg in a combine harvester accident two years ago.

“My accident could have easily been avoided had I only taken another 30 seconds to free the blockage safely, which is why I’m supporting the HSE’s ‘Make the Promise, Come Home Safe’ campaign. It’s all too easy to get complacent with safety. It’s just not worth taking the risk,” he said.

“My message to everyone in the farming community is don’t let familiarity breed contempt and make sure that safety is at the forefront of everything you do. Those extra 30 seconds really could save your life.”

The Royal Welsh Show comes just weeks after HSE released statistics suggesting that working in agriculture is the most dangerous way to make a living. Headline figures for 2008/09 indicate that 26 workers died in the sector, with a rate of 5.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers.

Blair added: “Though these latest figures suggest that fatal injuries to farm workers are at an all-time low, there’s no getting away from the fact that there is still somebody dying needlessly every two weeks.

“A fatal or serious accident cannot only destroy families, it can also ruin the farm as a business, threatening a livelihood that has often been passed down through the generations.

“We’re visiting events like the Royal Welsh Show to encourage farmers to talk to us and work with us to make sure this doesn’t happen. We know that harvest is a really busy time for everyone but we urge everyone just to take a few extra moments to make sure that safety always comes first.”

Although only about 1.5% of the working population works in agriculture, the industry accounts for about 20% of work-related deaths every year.





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