Safety charter launched in drive to cut farm deaths

A new industry campaign designed to help make farms safer has been launched.

Farming organisations, including the NFU and the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) have joined forces to raise awareness of the dangers faced when working in the agricultural sector and to provide practical advice, training and guidance on how farms can be made safer.

The launch of the Farm Safety Charter follows last year's groundbreaking industry summit that set about finding tangible ways of reducing deaths and injuries.

In 2010, agriculture became - statistically - the most dangerous industry in the country.

A total of 455 people have died on British farms in the past decade, which equates to almost one death a week.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: "The number of deaths on British farms should shock everybody involved in farming. We know this is an unpredictable job and we have to cope with long hours, difficult working conditions and often working alone, but as an industry we must work together to raise awareness and drive these figures down."

He added: "That's why this charter is so important. Last year's summit gave us the chance to build a coalition with full commitment from all the parties involved and we have now agreed to take positive steps to make a real difference to farm safety."

CLA president William Worsley said: "We now have a mandate to bring about a real change in the culture and behaviour towards farm safety. We are committed to raising awareness of the risks that affect people working in what are often difficult and unpredictable situations."

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