Farmers urged to stay safe this harvest

Children under 16 are only allowed to operate certain machines, and it is illegal for children under 13 to drive or ride on any machine
Children under 16 are only allowed to operate certain machines, and it is illegal for children under 13 to drive or ride on any machine

As combines are dusted off and harvest begins across the country, farmers are being encouraged to follow some top safety tips.

It follows the release of new figures which shows that farming still has the highest rate of fatal injury.

39 people lost their lives on farms in one year alone, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Looking to address the issue, the NFU has issued 'simple but effective ways' to stay safe this summer.



It said farmers and farm workers 'must make safety their priority' throughout harvest.

These include checking that tractors and trailers are roadworthy, and that indicators are fully visible and trailer brakes are working correctly.



Ensuring all drivers are competent is a must, the NFU said. Children under 16 are only allowed to operate certain machines.

It is illegal for children under 13 to drive or ride on any kind of agricultural machine.

Farmers must be clear on the weight of vehicles and trailers and follow the correct speed limit.

“Don’t be tempted to cut corners to save time. Always consider the risks and take steps to mitigate them before the work is carried out,” the union said.

“Ensure that all employees working on the farm have sufficient rest periods to help them stay alert.”

Vice President, Stuart Roberts said it’s easy for farmers to get caught up in the hectic nature of harvest.

“It’s an incredibly busy period for all arable farmers and quite often we’re working long hours to get the job done,” he said.



“I know first-hand the time pressures many farmers are under during harvest, but we’re all important to our businesses and our families.

“It is not worth risking an accident or injury just for the sake of saving a few minutes.”

Mr Roberts added: “We need to take the time to check that all our equipment is in good working order, that we are complying with vehicle weight and speed regulation and that our employees fully understand the correct processes to follow.”