Farm Safety Week underway

Injured...Perthshire farmer Johnny Mackey (Pic by Alan Richardson)
Injured...Perthshire farmer Johnny Mackey (Pic by Alan Richardson)

Themed help and advice is being posted online each day this week as part of Farm Safety Week from July 6 to 10.

Members of Farm Safety Week UK and Ireland this week gathered at the Livestock Event NEC, Birmingham to celebrate the week.

Martin Malone of NFU Mutual joined colleagues from the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and Health & Safety Authority Ireland to highlight the issues surrounding transport and how to prevent transport related accidents on the farm.

According to Martin Malone, Regional Manager NFU Mutual and Farm Safety Partnership Scotland member: “Today’s focus is transport and sadly, over the last 10 years, 26 people have been killed by vehicle overturns and being struck by moving vehicles on Scotland’s farms.

“All terrain vehicles (ATVs), including quad bikes, can have fatal consequences if best practice is not adhered to. And still, even when it is, there is always the possibility that accidents can happen however you can take steps to reduce those chances and best protect yourself if an accident does happen.”

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “There are four causes that account for over 70 per cent of work-related deaths on Scotland’s farms - transport is one of them, along with equipment, falls from height, and cattle handling.

“The Farm Safety Partnership aims to provide information on safe working practices and safety tips for working with equipment, transport and cattle to prevent deaths.

“I hope raising more awareness of safe farm working environments with Farm Safety Week will in turn help to reduce the number of accidents and deaths on Scotland’s farms in the coming years.”

In July 2013, father-of-three Johnny Mackey – of Perthshire – lost control of his quad bike whilst reversing ending up underneath it. Thankfully Johnny was wearing a helmet, or his injuries could have been more serious.

On reflection, Johnny, a livestock farmer, blamed no one himself for the accident and admitted that human error was a major factor in his accident, which left him in pain for a number of weeks.