WhEn we leave the house in the morning and say “see you later” to family, or friends, we presume that we will come back at the end of the day and ask how their day was. Of course we’re going to see our children and wife or husband before we go to bed. Why wouldn’t we? the idea of us or them not being there is absurd, right?
sadly, that was not the case for 39 families across the UK in the agricultural sector over the past year. six of those families were from Wales. On paper we see the figures. We see the statistics flash across news channels, a short clipping in the local paper.
You might sigh thinking, oh not another one, poor family, and carry on with your day. Jump on the quad or tractor, life goes on. No further thought is spent on the 24-year-old who was run over and killed by a tractor, or the 62-year-old self- employed farm partner who was crushed and killed when she was run over by an out-of- control telehandler, or indeed the 3-year- old child who was run over and killed by a reversing vehicle and livestock trailer.
Over the past year transport – overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles – caused most deaths, and across the UK nearly half of the agricultural workers killed were over 60 and two young children were killed – so the recent hsE figures highlight.
the truth is that farming is a hazardous industry. We work with potentially dangerous machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, at height or near pits and silos.
it is also pretty clear that as an industry we are terrible at keeping ourselves and family members safe from harm. the numbers confirm the most tragic of incidents, but don’t include the little accidents, which maybe should serve as a warning.
so please, when you leave the house in the morning and say ‘see you later’ – mean it. Mean it right down to you very core. Pay attention to what you’re doing, slow down a bit and check that the break is on, wear that helmet when you’re on the quad bike and be safe.
Of course it’s easier said than done, especially on a busy farm where there is never enough time to sit back, but planning the job – whatever that may be-couldwellbea life-saver.