WHEN we leave the hou se inthe morning and say “see you later” to family, or friends, we presu me that we will come back at the end of the day and be able to ask how their day was. Of cou rse we’re going to see ou r childrenand wife or hu sband before we go to bed. Why wou ldn’t we? The idea of u s or them not being there is absu rd, right?
Sadly, 3 families from Wales have lost loved ones over the last year (April 2019‐ March 2020). Those 3 cases inclu ded:
A 5 6 -year-
old self-employed farm partner was killed by a rotavator with poor guards. He had driven to a field and had stopped to make some adjustments. He was pulled underneath the machine and later found dead with the tractor engine running
A 7 8 -year-old self-employed
farmer was killed when
a telehandler stalled on a farm track. He was riding on the steps on the side of the telehandler, which was being driven by his grandson. He fell onto the grass verge as the machine started to roll backwards down the track before it overturned. He died from multiple injuries.
A 4 4 -year-
old self-employed farm partner was killed when he was struck by a tree. He had left the farmhouse to trim hawthorn with a chainsaw and was found trapped underneath a fallen tree.
Onpaper we see the figu res. We see the statistics flash across news channels, a short clipping inthe local paper. You might sigh thinking, oh not another one, poor family, and carry onwith you r day. Ju mp onthe qu ad or tractor, life goes on. No fu rther thou ght is givento those who have gone.
The tru th is that farming is a hazard ou s ind u stry. We work with potentially dangerou s machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, at height or near pits and silos.
It is also pretty clear that as anindu stry we mu st get so mu ch better at keeping ou rselves and family members safe from harm. The nu mbers confirm the
most tragic of incidents, bu t don’t inclu de the little accidents, which maybe shou ld serve as a warning.
So please, whenyou leave the hou se inthe morning and say ‘see you later’ ‐ meanit. Meanit right downto you r very core. Pay attentionto what you ’re doing, slow downa bit and check that the break is on, wear that helmet whenyou ’re onthe qu ad bike and be safe.
Of cou rse it’s easier said thandone, especially ona
bu sy farm where there is never enou gh time to sit back, bu t planning the job ‐ whatever that may be ‐ cou ld well be a life‐saver.