FARMERS and those working in the agricultural industry need to ensure that farm safety remains on their priority list and that they comply with the relevant health and safety regulations.

The FUW, as part of the Wales Farm Partnership (WFSP), a collaboration of all the key agricultural stakeholder organisations in Wales, is reminding rural families that children should not be in the workplace, that it is illegal for under 13s to ride on agricultural vehicles or machinery and that work equipment like ATVs should not be used by children.

Did you know that being struck by or run over by farm machinery or visiting vehicles is the biggest single cause of children being killed on farms?

Sadly, accidents most frequently reported in the UK involve falling from tractors and ATVs or quad bikes.

And danger really lurks everywhere.

Year after year, we hear of tragedies involving children on farms drowning or being asphyxiated, being crushed, hit by falling objects or collapsing stacks and injured by animals.

At a working farm, unsupervised children, who are naturally inquisitive and often fearless, can face risk from almost everything in sight as well as the human element - the unsuspecting family member, visitor or delivery person who drives onto the yard.

In addition, it is worth reminding ourselves that 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain in 2017/18 - around 18 times higher than the all industry fatal injury rate.

That means 33 families have lost a loved one.

We also know that, in the last 10 years, almost one person a week has been killed as a direct result of agricultural work and many more have been seriously injured or made ill by their work.

It is worth remembering that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards, especially where children are involved.

Life is never the same again for family members left behind after a work-related death, or for those looking after someone with a long-term illness or serious injury caused by their work.

With this in mind, the Union remains committed to highlighting best practices to help farmers avoid becoming a farm accident or fatality statistic, but it can’t be stressed enough that the person responsible for farm safety is the person in the mirror.

There are some bad examples out in the public eye with regards to farm safety at the moment, so please - make the promise to yourself and your family that farm safety - your safety and that of your family and co-workers - will be a top priority.