Health and Safety Executive
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Farmers encouraged to attend Hexham safety event after thumbs up

Farmers are being encouraged to attend a free training event in Hexham next month to get to grips with health and safety in one of Britain's most dangerous industries.

The safety event in Hexham, which has been organised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will take place at Hexham and Northern Marts, Tyne Green, Hexham on 1st December.

Figures released earlier this month show that between April 2010 and March 2011, there were two fatalities in the north east and 28 serious injuries to agricultural workers.

Practical demonstrations at the event in Hexham will focus on workplace transport, machine safety, working at height, handling livestock, safe lifting, and working with chemicals. There are still places available for the morning session, although the afternoon session is fully booked.

HSE Principal Inspector Bruno Porter said:

"Many farmers are self-employed or run small family businesses so we want to make sure they're not putting themselves, their family members and their livelihoods at risk: good health and safety management just means controlling risks, cutting out unplanned events that can cost time and money, even if no one is injured.

"We'll be offering simple tips that won't cost a lot to put into practice. The free events are also an opportunity to catch up with other local farmers and share industry knowledge.

"It's an alarming statistic that farmers are ten times more likely than most workers to be killed while at work. On family farms that fatality is likely to be a relative. I'd encourage farmers to give up half a day of their time to come along to the event in Hexham."

Nearly 8,000 places are being made available at Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs) across the country, with the aim of cutting the number of deaths and injuries in future.

95 per cent of the 1,300 farmers surveyed after attending one of last year's safety events said they would recommend them to others. Around three quarters also said the events had greatly increased their understanding of the potential causes of accidents and the actions they could take to prevent deaths and injuries.

Farmers can arrange to attend the free event by emailing agriculture.shads@hse.gsi.gov.uk.

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Figures covering the last five years show eight in every 100,000 farmers are killed at work in Great ABritain every year, compared to the average figure for workplace deaths of eight in every million.

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