Safety first

Tim Papworth, a Norfolk farmer recognised for his contributions to charitable services, described the harrowing stories of UK farmers who have suffered injury whilst working. Presenting at the Oxford Farming Conference, Tim acknowledged the huge role that health and safety plays in ensuring we are safe in our job roles, and in maintaining our livelihoods.
calendar icon 5 January 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Tim Papworth himself suffered a life-changing accident after which a large proportion of his skull had to be replaced with titanium. After falling off a ladder in his potato storage facility, Tim fell 15ft onto concrete flooring, which left him fighting for his life. He faced years of rehabilitation to get himself back to doing what he loves.

I certainly didn’t believe that changing a light bulb would nearly cost me my life.

Though his own story continues in recovery, Tim brought about a more sombre undertone and addressed the fact that strict, efficient health and safety regulations are critical to enforce within the work place.

Tim acknowledged and thanked the work of public health services, such as the Air Ambulance service that rescued him, the surgeons that performed life-saving surgery, and the support services that have rehabilitated his physical and mental state. He did, however, stress that he would never have been in this position had he respected his own safety, and he urged those in agriculture to adhere to the on-site rules and regulations designed to keep us safe. He also encouraged the backing and use of the services provided by charities, such as the You Are Not Alone campaign, who support those suffering with depression and other mental health conditions as a result of trauma.

Protecting our workforce is critical to ensuring work can go on as normal; a safe, health-conscious environment boosts both farm economy and job satisfaction levels.

Tim continues to raise awareness about health and safety in agriculture and raise money in aid of the mental health charities that supported him throughout his recovery.

When asked for his top tip for improving health and safety in agriculture, he replied:

Know what’s going on in your business – identify the potential problem, record it and address it”.

The Pig Site

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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