National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

01 November 2017

A new farm safety scheme, launched by the Devon Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC), is on course for a national roll-out.

The innovative project, Growing Safer Farmers, has been piloted successfully in Devon so far and NFYFC Chairman and Farm Safety Ambassador Ed Ford, will now pilot the scheme in Essex. A first meeting has already taken place with machinery dealers in the county (see picture right) and the initial response has been positive. 

It is hoped that once the pilots have been reviewed that the scheme can be rolled out nationally with the support of the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Speaking at the NFYFC Council meeting in Coventry, where Devon’s County Chair Claire Bellew presented the scheme, Ed Ford said he was excited to be involved in helping to support Devon to take the scheme wider.

“In my year as Chairman I wanted to highlight farm safety, I was not prepared for the high number of fatalities this year. Four members of NFYFC, four of my members, four of your members.

“Devon FYFC has taken the bull by the horns and I feel its scheme could change the way the industry thinks. Once we have trialled it in Essex and everyone involved is happy, we will work with Devon to roll it out nationally. It’s very exciting and we’re all passionate about it, so watch this space.”

Devon’s idea, which came about following the tragic death of Lauren Scott, one of the county’s YFC members, is to engage farm machinery dealers and agricultural engineers to always check the Power Take Off (PTO) drives on every machine they are working on. Machinery dealers are asked to issue a written report to the owner/operator concerning the condition of the PTO and if the owner declines to have any repairs made to faulty PTO guards, they are asked to sign paperwork to say they have been notified of the PTO problems.

So far, Devon’s pilot has shown that the vast majority of inspections that indicate a repair or replacement is required have been acted on by the owner/operator. The machinery has then been repaired to ensure it is safe and meets the safety regulations, which have been in place for more than 60 years. 

Nick Creasy, Operations Manger for Devon FYFC, said: “We are so pleased with the positive responses from both the farmers and machinery companies. In the first four months of the project we have seen 460 repairs and replacements completed.  This has got to make things safer for the people operating these machines.”  

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