Safety advice for Somerset farmers
Posted by Jason Nicholls.
Farmers across Somerset have received potentially "lifesaving" advice as part of a health and safety awareness day.
The course, run by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), was attended by about 350 local farmers.
It comes amid figures from the HSE that show that 38 agricultural workers died in the UK in 2009. This means farming is the Britain's most dangerous occupation.
Encompassing tutorials and demonstrations on a variety of agricultural activities, including quad bikes; machinery maintenance; roof and height work; manual handling; livestock handling, and telehandlers, the day covered key areas of agricultural health and safety issues.
An interactive approach was taken throughout the day, with role playing, scenarios and open discussions taking place.
Sandy Blair, the new agricultural 'champion' for the HSE, said targeting the farming community was a high priority for the association.
"Proportionately, there are more work-related deaths in agriculture than any other sector. Each one is a tragedy for a family, for a business and for the industry as a whole.
"Modern agriculture of course still requires very hard work over long hours, but it doesn't need to be the most dangerous occupation in Britain. It is time for the sector to include the safety and better health of its people amongst its primary aims."
The health and safety event was held at Brymore School of Technology in Cannington, near Bridgwater.
According to the HSE, although just 1.5 per cent of the population work in agriculture, one in five of all work-related deaths are in the industry.
Ensuring appropriate safety signage could also help to drive awareness.
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