A leading Scottish farmer is urging his peers to think about risks and take the safety of themselves, their colleagues and their families seriously.
NFU Scotland (NFUS) vice-president, Robin Traquair, made the comments during Farm Safety Week, which came to a close yesterday.
New statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) during the campaign week show the number of people killed on British farms almost doubled last year.
The figures show fatal injuries on farms in the Great Britain have risen in the past year from 21 deaths in 2019-20, to 41 in 2020-21. The deaths include 34 farm workers and seven members of the public.
Five of the deaths were in Scotland and three involved quad bike accidents, one was caused by a farm worker being attacked and killed by a bull, and one was caused when a worker caught fire while carrying out muirburn activity.
Mr Traquair said every death and serious injury on a farm has lasting and life-changing consequences for family, friends and colleagues.
“It is well recognised and documented that we work in a dangerous environment on a daily basis, but we shouldn’t just accept that,” added Mr Traquair.
“Instead, we must strive to make improvements, change attitudes and behaviours and rethink the risk.”
He urged farmers and crofters to apply their great attention to animal welfare and the environment to their own working environments and to take steps to make them safer.
“It is all too easy to think that you are only responsible to yourself when taking a risk, especially if you’re self-employed, under stress or worried about costs, but if you are injured or killed you would put an enormous and lasting burden on your family and those close to you,” added Mr Traquair.
“We owe it to ourselves and others in our lives to stop, think and keep things in proportion. We must take safety seriously and help others to do the same.”