Spring into safety on the farm

Kenyan farmer, Mark Jurui Rongei, competes on September 5, 2014 in Saint-Jean-d'Illac, during the 61st National Ploughing Finals as part of the "Les Terres de Jim" event, one of Europe's biggest farming meeting. 62 competitors and 31 countries take part in this event. AFP PHOTO / MEDHI FEDOUACH        (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenyan farmer, Mark Jurui Rongei, competes on September 5, 2014 in Saint-Jean-d'Illac, during the 61st National Ploughing Finals as part of the "Les Terres de Jim" event, one of Europe's biggest farming meeting. 62 competitors and 31 countries take part in this event. AFP PHOTO / MEDHI FEDOUACH (Photo credit should read MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)

The agricultural industry is being urged to put their safety first to avoid accidents.

With spring work well underway in Scotland, farmers, crofters and those working across the industry are being urged to take simple steps to keep safe.

At busy times of the year safety can fall down the list as many make the most of the better weather and longer daylight hours to complete tasks. However, NFU Scotland, on behalf of the Farm Safety Partnership Scotland, wants those across the industry to put in place simple measures to avoid accidents. Whether that is working at heights, with livestock, using machinery or travelling on vehicles; simple precautions could prevent injury or worse.

Over the five-year period from 2011 to 2016, 152 people were killed in agriculture in the UK. Simple tips for working safely on farm include: Making sure all drivers and riders receive adequate training;

Carrying out regular checks and maintenance on all vehicles; Taking extra care with trailed or mounted equipment and understand how they affect stability; Wearing a helmet when riding an ATV; Passengers should not be carried on sit-astride ATVs; Securing loads on racks and make sure they are evenly balanced.

Andrew McCornick, President of NFU Scotland commented: “We know all too well that safety drops down the list of our priorities when we are busy.

“However, by just taking a few minutes to look around; to ensure a ladder is secured; that employees are out of the way; or simply to put on a helmet, it could save you from having an accident.

“Every year we see many deaths on Scotland’s farms – even one, is one too many. We urge those working within the industry to take five minutes to read our safety leaflet and put simple measures in place to avoid accidents – that five minutes could be the difference between life and death.”