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Farmers Urged to Take Extra Care to Work Safely in Winter

16 December 2016, at 6:00am

UK - The National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging farmers to take extra care this winter to stay safe and well on farm.

Despite a drop in fatalities last year compared to the five year average, there have been a number of incidents reported in the past few weeks. They include:

  • A farmer in north Wales who lost his life after falling through a fragile roof - falls from height accounted for 14 per cent of fatalities over past 10 years
  • A person who died after his vehicle came into contact with an overhead power line – incidents involving transport account for 29 per cent of fatalities in the past 10 years and contact with electricity 3 per cent

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said he wanted to stress the importance of keeping vigilant when it comes to preventing life-threatening accidents during the winter months.

“The last thing any of us want to hear about, particularly over Christmas, is a farming fatality, a grieving family and a community in shock,” said Mr Smith.

“Figures for deaths on farm dropped to 29 last year but that downward trend hasn’t been maintained and it’s likely it’ll rise to nearer the average of 37 for 2016/17. That’s why we are continuing to support the farm safety campaign and educate farmers to stay safe on the farm.

“As winter closes in farmers just need to be mindful of working alone and doing jobs around the farm in adverse weather conditions. There needs to be an element of common sense and safety involved in all decisions – because 'I’m in a hurry' is not a good enough reason. Instead just ask yourself 'Who would fill your boots?' if something serious were to happen to you.”

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