National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

11 July 2016

Young people are proving to be more responsible when it comes to farm safety than the older generation, according to the UK’s Health & Safety Executive.

Statistics released during Farm Safety Week 2016 found that from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, there were 29 fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing. Out of those 29 fatalities, nearly half were people over the age of 65. By stark contrast, only four fatalities occurred in 25-34 year olds and none under the age of 24.

The statistics were announced at this year’s Livestock Event at the NEC in Birmingham. A panel made of industry and farm safety experts, including NFYFC Vice Chairman, Ed Ford, were asked why they felt the statistics were so low in young people.

Allan Bowie, President of NFU Scotland, said: “I think they get it. They communicate, they understand the machines, they talk to their friends... and they’ve got the most to lose! They’ve got 40 or 50 years of their life ahead of them. I think the older generation thinks ‘It won’t happen to me’. That’s the blunt starkness of the young ones, who have a future to look forward to, and the old ones, who (to be honest) are a bit blasé. I’ve got my son pushing that agenda to his grandfather. When you hear a grandson or granddaughter saying to their grandparents ‘we would miss you at Christmas time’, that suddenly gets it through to them.”

Young Farmers were once again fully behind Farm Safety Week, an initiative launched in 2013 by the Farm Safety Foundation, aiming to reduce the number of accidents which continue to give agriculture the poorest record of any occupation in the UK and Ireland.

While the statistics in young people were welcomed by the panel, they also came with a warning and some sound advice.

Guy Smith, Vice-President of the NFU, said: “Take great pride in that record, but don’t get complacent. Make it something that you can always say about Young Farmers. Traditionally on farms, older people are seen to be more responsible than younger people. These stats tell us something completely the other way round. Young people are the better example. My advice would be for young people – do not be afraid to come forward and lecture older people on how they can make themselves safer on farms.”

NFYFC is also an active member of the Farm Safety PartnershipHSE’s Agriculture Industry Advisory Committee (AIAC) and works in partnership with the Wales Farm Safety Partnership to provide expert advice in engaging young people with farm safety. For further information about the NFYFC’s dedication to farm safety, go to www.nfyfc.org.uk/farmsafety.


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