21 November 2019
If you notice someone working at a dangerously high level at the Winter Fair (Royal Welsh Showground, November 25/26), don’t rush over to urge them down, but don’t just pass by either!
You’ve probably spotted the Farming Connect mannequin who will be very visible on a specially erected ‘safe’ tower outside the Lantra building (Avenue K). Farming Connect and a team of approved Farm Safety mentors will be explaining why it’s essential to put in place the correct safety precautions, if you’re a farmer or forester working at height.
According to Glyn Davies, one the Wales Farm Safety Partnership’s ambassadors and an approved Farming Connect farm safety mentor himself, most farmers do work at height fairly regularly, regardless of the risks.
“Rather than call in the professionals or put in place all the recommended safety equipment for working at heights, many farmers and foresters think they’ll save time and money by tackling tasks themselves.
“Every year accidents occur, every year many of them are fatal and every year, families face the devastating consequences of on-farm tragedies.”
Call in the Lantra building at 12 noon on either Monday, 25 or Tuesday 26 November, for a 20 minute presentation by renowned farm safety expert, trainer and Farming Connect mentor Brian Rees, when you’ll see what good practice looks like, learn how you, your family and workers can work safer at height and can pick up a free booklet on ‘What a good farm looks like’ from a safety perspective.
In addition to promoting a wide range of subsidised or fully funded training courses which teach safe working practices and encouraging you to seek an on-farm confidential visit from an approved Farming Connect farm safety mentor who can help you make your workplace safer, Farming Connect will also promote the ‘Safe Stop’ campaign. This will remind all drivers and machinery users that there are four critical safety procedures you should always check before leaving any moving vehicle or carrying out maintenance.
“Engage handbrake; put controls in neutral; switch off your engine and remove your keys from the vehicle are very basic procedures which should be carried out automatically, yet every year farmers rush around, forget to carry out all four of these critical steps and every year we hear about life-threatening accidents and fatalities involving moving vehicles on farms,” said Mr. Davies.
Country Landowners Association (CLA) Wales are part of the WFSP campaign and will be promoting farm safety messages at their Winter Fair stand, in their newsletter and through social media messaging.
Event organisers, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, also a member of the WFSP, has sent a letter to all this year’s All Terrrain Vehicle (ATV) traders, asking them to encourage safe practices by displaying each ATV with a helmet, and to promote the availability of ATV training, which can be accessed through both Farming Connect and the European ATV Safety Institute (EASI).
Staying with the ATV theme, WFSP partner Wales YFC moved their promotional activities up a significant gear this year, with a competition sponsored by Max Herbert of Quad Bike Wales, which will give the winner use of a brand new ATV for a year! Entries are now closed, but why not go and see all the excitement as entrants pit their wits against each other and demonstrate their ability to drive an ATV safely. The competition will take place at a dedicated area between Maes B and the Goat Building from 1pm to 3pm on Monday, 25 November and from 10am to 11.30am on Tuesday, 26 November.
For more information, please visit the Health and Safety Executive website.