FARMERS in north Shropshire are being urged to consider their safety at work following the launch of a new campaign.

The Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) launched its safety campaign for 2019 last week, working towards its target of halving farm fatalities by the end of 2023.

The initiative aims to co-ordinate messages across the industry by looking at specific actions each season and promoting good practice in these areas.

These key areas will include transport and machinery, handling livestock, child safety, and working at height.

The first quarter of 2019 will focus on promoting ways in which farmers can stay safe when in transport.

People across the industry are taking to social media to promote good practice in this area by adopting the hashtag #DriveSafetyForward.

Over the next few months, the FSP will be urging all farmers and farm workers to:

– Follow the Safe Stop procedure every time you leave the cab

– Always wear a seat belt

– Drive legally and safely every time

– Make your farm yard a safe yard

According to figures Agriculture has the poorest safety record of any industry in Britain.

A total of 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain in 2017-18 – about 18 times the all-industry fatal injury rate.

NFU vice-president and Farm Safety Partnership chairman Stuart Roberts said the aim was to make agriculture safer.

“We are all aware that agriculture has a terrible track record when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, and the partnership is working with the industry to reverse this,” he said.

“I genuinely believe we are starting to see farmers and their workers responding and now it’s time to redouble all our efforts in this area.”

The campaign comes as farmers are being told to pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk – or face serious penalties.

Due to begin soon, a Health and Safety Executive inspection programme will review health and safety standards on farms across the country.

Inspections aim to ensure that farmers responsible for a workplace are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health.

If they are not, the HSE says it will use enforcement to bring about improvements.

The campaign follows a series of compliance events developed as a result of research into farmers’ attitudes to risk, in a bid to improve behaviour in the industry.