THIS month, on behalf of the Wales Farm Safety Partnership (WFSP), Farming Connect will deliver two half-day training workshops to help farmers and foresters reduce the risks of accidents and help them make their farm or forestry businesses safer places to work for themselves, their families and their workers.

The events are part of an ongoing awareness campaign launched earlier this summer by the WFSP, a collaboration of all the key agricultural stakeholders in Wales, who are working together to reduce the tragically high statistics of farm fatalities and injuries in Wales year on year.

Delivered by Farming Connect, the next half-day training events will take place from 1pm to 4pm on: 

Tuesday, 28 August at the RWAS Showground, Builth Wells LD2 3SY

Wednesday, 29 August at Ruthin Livestock Market LL15 1PB

They will each comprise a series of short, practical demonstrations or presentations covering topics including the general farm safety which will also address child safety; safe handling of livestock; working safely at heights; operating all-terrain vehicles and farm machinery including lift trucks and tractors, and the handling of dangerous chemicals.

Brian Rees, who chairs the WFSP and an approved Farming Connect H&S mentor, says that these are the areas of work where a particularly high incidence of accidents occur.

“I’m delighted that so many individuals, of all ages and representing many different sectors of the industry, have now attended the latest series of training events arranged by Farming Connect.

“If more farmers are taught to recognise the risks by attending one of our workshops, and then take the necessary steps to reduce them, we’ll be making a very positive start on tackling the problem.”

“Every fatality, every injury, every illness is one too many which can have catastrophic, life changing effects for farming families.

“I would urge farmers of all ages to take an afternoon off to attend one of these events, including students and young farmers just starting out in the industry.

“It may just prove a prove a life-saver for some as we’ll be showing you that there are many ways in which you can reduce the risks of accidents and injuries to you, your family and employees or to individuals visiting your farm such as vets, professional advisers or delivery personnel.”

The WFSP recently published a free farm safety ‘top tips’ booklet which you can pick up from Farming Connect if you attend one of this season’s regional agricultural shows where Farming Connect has a presence or you can download it from www.gov.wales/farmingconnect.

Eligible farmers can also apply for up to 22.5 hours of fully-funded, confidential on-farm guidance from a recently appointed team of approved ‘farm health and safety’ mentors who are now part of Farming Connect’s hugely successful mentoring programme.

“Most farmers are aware that they sometimes take short cuts and don’t always follow the correct procedures, particularly when they’re working alone or under pressure, but having an expert to informally visit your farm and point out, in complete confidence, what you steps you can take to minimise or eliminate risks could save your life or that of someone close to you,” said Mr. Rees.

Booking for a ‘Saving lives and livelihoods’ farm safety awareness event is essential either online at www.gov.wales/farmingconnect or by calling the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813.

Eligible farmers registered with Farming Connect can undertake an e-learning module on farm Health & Safety, which is a pre-requisite if you want to apply for machinery handling courses. For further information and to download a leaflet on farm safety, visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnect.

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