A new safety campaign launched at this week’s LAMMA event is aiming to reduce farm fatalities and injuries by 50% by 2023. CPM reports.

Founded by NFU and the Farm Safety Partnership – which represents 38 farming organisations – the #DriveSafetyForward campaign was launched on Tuesday (8 January).

It aims to coordinate messages across the industry by looking at specific actions each season and promoting good practice in these areas. Over the coming year, themes are set to include transport and machinery, handling livestock, child safety and working at height.

Latest statistics from the HSE showed that agriculture has the worst safety record of any industry in Britain, with 33 people killed in 2017-18.

Stuart Roberts, NFU vice president and chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership, said: “We are all aware that agriculture has a terrible track record when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, and the FSP is working with the industry to reverse this.

“I genuinely believe we are starting to see farmers and their workers responding and it’s now time to redouble our efforts in this area. Initiatives launched by the NFU and other FSP partners are having a positive effect, but we need to see more action on the ground,” he added

“With the partnership delivering a coordinated campaign and looking at specific actions each season, we can really focus our approach on changing behaviours.”

Social media influence

The first quarter of 2019 will see a focus on how machinery operators can stay safe when in transport, with farmers and workers urged to use the hashtag #DriveSafetyForward on social media to highlight ways in which they can do this.

Over the coming months, the campaign will encourage people to always wear a seatbelt, follow the Safe Stop procedure when leaving the cab, and ensure both machinery and the farm yard is safe and legal, said Mr Roberts. “I would urge all farmers and industry workers to support this incredibly important campaign which will work towards driving safety forward, saving lives and making our industry the best it can be.”