At the start of the year, you might have made one or a few new year’s resolutions. Many of us do, but how many of us have stuck to them a month into the new year? We’re not here to judge, but there is one resolution we hope you will stick to and that is the promise that you will come home at the end of the day and that you will make every effort to be safe on the farm and manage the risks you face on a daily basis in such a way that your safety and that of those around you is not compromised in any way.
Agriculture is known to be one of the most dangerous professions, which often sees farmers and farm workers working in solitude, challenging weather conditions and in stressful situations. The risks on farms are all well-known and readily managed, but all too often farmers and farm workers put themselves in situations where one slip can have life changing or even fatal consequences.
Last year was another year of tragedies on Welsh farms and too many families have been devastated by the loss of a loved one, or by incidents that have led to life-changing injuries. Life is never the same again for family members left behind after a work-related death, or for those looking after someone with a long-term illness or serious injury caused by their work. All these farmers and their families are in our thoughts. So we ask every one of you again to make the promise that this will be the year when you give farm safety some serious consideration.
If there is anything you can do to make your farm safer, then let this be the year when you find out what you should do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Most of us know that there are a number of areas where we can probably do a lot better, such as keeping children safe, ensuring we know how to deal safely with moving vehicles and preventing overturning, handling machinery and livestock and working at heights but there are many more.
As a partner of the Wales Farm Safety Partnership Group, the FUW and FUW Insurance Services can remind you that help is at hand through subsidised training courses, fully-funded guidance from a farm safety mentor, free guidance and publicity materials which will all help you to ‘stop, think and stay safe on your farm.’
In fact there are often information sessions held that are free and offer the chance to ask plenty of questions and get information on how to be safer on your farm. You can also contact your local FUW county office, who can put you in touch with a Farm Safety Ambassador.
Another good place to get further information is social media and we would encourage you to follow and like WFSP on the usual social media channels. Just look up Farm Safety Wales on Facebook and Twitter to find out what campaigns and themes are planned, what resources you can access and how you can make your farm a safer place.
Whatever you do in the coming weeks and months, please make sure you do it as safely as you possibly can.