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January 5, 2009

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HSE targets farmer safety

The HSE has launched a new campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of working in farming.

The campaign, called ‘Make the promise. Come home safe’, advises farmers about the dangers they face in their workplace and urges them to return to their families alive and well.

As part of the initiative the HSE is sending information packs to 70,000 British farmers. The packs will include a request form for a new booklet that summarises the reasons for work-related accidents on farms. Packs will also contain a “promise knot”, made from farm bailing twine, which should act as a visual reminder to farmers of their pledge to return home safe.

HSE non-executive board member, Judith Donovan, said: “This summarises recent fatal accidents and is designed to help farmers avoid making the same mistakes.”

In 2007/08 39 farmer deaths were recorded in the UK, while there were 20 fatalities in Ireland. NFU vice-president, Paul Temple, said farm safety was a serious concern and any campaign that helped raise awareness of the problems was welcome.

Temple said: “Any death is one death too many, yet all too frequently someone dies in a farm accident. These accidents destroy lives, whole families, and often farm businesses. This campaign is of massive importance to the farming industry. Anything that raises awareness of the dangers farmers and farm workers face, and helps identify the activities where farmers are most at risk, can only have a positive impact.”

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