Farm Safety Foundation raises awareness
NFU MUTUAL (National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society) took the decision in 2014 to establish the Farm Safety Foundation, an independent charity, dedicated to raising awareness of farm safety among agricultural workers.
The charity’s ultimate goal is to ensure that there are no avoidable deaths on their farms, and so they continue to inform and communicate with those in the agricultural community regarding farm safety. The Farm Safety Foundation has introduced campaigns such as Farm Safety Week, Yellow Wellies -Who Would Fill Your Boots? and Mind Your Head to further raise awareness and educate people on the topic of wellbeing, both physical and mental, in farming.
Farm Safety Week acts as an industry-wide focus on safety and how things can change in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The week aims raise awareness of the need for safety in farming; highlight that the agricultural industry is working to change the safety record; share good practice and raise awareness that health is not just physical health but also mental wellbeing.
The Yellow Wellies campaign aims to raise awareness of potential dangers as well as offering practical advice for staying safe. It also asks farmers to seriously think “who would fill your boots” in the event of a life-changing injury. Over half of younger farmers have said that they are sometimes prepared to take risks when doing some jobs around the farm, and more worryingly one in six said they sometimes follow instructions from someone even if they know it’s not safe.
The foundation launched its ‘Mind Your Head’ campaign to try and get farmers talking about their mental health. It says farming is an industry with the poorest safety record in the UK and stress is often down to accidents, injuries and illnesses.
The charity also says that stress from financial pressures on the fluctuating market, livestock disease and poor harvest – also pays a big part in how farmers’ mental health is affected. The campaign aims to encourage farmers and farming families not to neglect themselves, but to put themselves first, and get some help and advice on whatever concerns they have.