Students discover importance of farm safety

April 6, 2018

Agriculture students at Brinsbury braved the cold to learn more about farm safety earlier this month.

Staff from the Farm Safety Foundation spent the day with more than 50 students at the farm at Brinsbury, which is part of the Chichester College group.

The students were taken out of the classroom and given practical, thought-provoking demonstrations, reflecting the everyday hazards faced by farmers and farm workers.

Four ‘what if’ scenarios were presented, including some of the most common causes of farming fatalities or injuries such as working with livestock and limb entrapment in machinery.

In groups, students were asked to work out what happened, debate what immediate action should be taken – including deciding first aid implications – and explore what measures should be taken to prevent the accident happening in the future.

Alex Hollands, farm manager at Brinsbury, said: “Health and safety is at the fore of anything we do, because we know the risks posed to people working in the agriculture industry.

“Research tells us that the number of accidents and fatalities is high, but so many of them could have been avoided and that’s why we take educating our students in farm safety so seriously.

“It’s important to work with industry experts on these issues and the workshops were brilliant as they have guided students through each scenario, enabling them to see the risks first hand.

“It made it real for them and I think helped them to realise their responsibilities in ensuring their safety – as well as the safety of others.”

According to figures reported by the Farm Safety Foundation, a farmer is six times more likely to die in the workplace than a construction worker. Agriculture accounts for 1.5% of the working population in the UK but 15-20% of all workplace fatalities.

The Farm Safety Foundation was established by NFU Mutual in 2014 to help raise awareness of farming safety in young farmers and to change attitudes towards farming safely, with the ultimate aim of reducing injuries and fatalities.

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation, said: “Young people are such an important target group for this training as the future of the industry.

“The problem of accidents on farms is not going away and we are not naïve enough to believe we can solve this entirely but by digging deeper into the detail and engaging with the next generation of farmers, we have found that significant improvements in behaviour are possible.

“As the farmers of the future, young people with a solid knowledge of safe working practices will have a greater capability to make informed and safe decisions which stands the industry in greater stead.”

For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation please visit www.yellowwellies.org