• 29 Aug 2023

A Safer and Healthier Farm Life Environment

A three-year-old child was among 27 people killed in agriculture-related activities in the last 12 months.

Britain's workplace regulator has called for a cultural shift away from poor behaviours due to the rate of fatalities, which has remained high with little change.
The worker fatal injury rate is 21-times higher than the average five-year annual rate across all other industries.

Sue Thompson, the Head of Agriculture, at the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has said:

“The number of fatalities remains stubbornly high and the rate of workplace fatal injury in agriculture still remains the highest of any sector."
“I encourage everyone to think differently about safety, do things the right way and have the courage to ‘call out’ poor practices whenever they are seen.

Everyone in the agricultural industry has a role to play in order to make farming healthier and safer for future generations.

I don't work in the agricultural industry, but from an outsiders point of view, farm life seems to be completely disconnected from all other industries. Many farmers are brought up on their land, their grandparents, parents, generations of hard work, grit and determination to cultivate crops and raise livestock.

Due to generations of learnt behaviour - "this is how your grandparents did it" - the safety issues are more much complex to overcome. Yet removing the bravado mentality within farming families is the root to ensuring those families work in a safer and healthier environment.

Employees (and children*) who watch farm owners climbing on roofs without harnesses, sticking arms into machinery during maintenance without lockouts, cutting down trees without proper risk assessments will do the same (*and so will the next generation).

The bravado mentality also means that as a farmer gets older they will try to maintain their place within the "pack" even though their bodies aren't as nimble and strong as they once were. The 2023 HSE report showed that older workers, aged 65 and older, accounted for a third of all farm worker fatalities.

Now is the time for all farms to change, otherwise they risk losing someone irreplaceable... and for what? Bravado?

Here at TakeAIM / Good to Go Safety, we believe that providing your employees with as many opportunities to determine whether their next activity is safe is vitally important.

That's why TakeAIM and Good to Go Safety provide a range of tools to help achieve a safer farming environment - to find out more click here for our paper inspections and here for our digital app.

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