Northampton students solve farmyard 'accidents' in hands-on safety course

Students solve how this farmyard quad bike "accident" happened and how it can be prevented in the future.
Students solve how this farmyard quad bike "accident" happened and how it can be prevented in the future.

A Northampton farm was transformed into a CSI-style forensics scene as part of a new safety course.

Agriculture students from Moulton College had to solve accident scenarios at the farm in Moulton on February 22 to learn about the dangers of modern farming.

The agriculture students from Moulton College saw four farm accident scenarios.

The agriculture students from Moulton College saw four farm accident scenarios.

Four scenarios using dummies and real farmyard equipment were shown to the group of 20, including quad bike accidents, livestock crush injuries and death by overhead powerlines.

Edmore Mashatise, from Moulton College, said: “Young people are such an important target group for this farm safety message as the future of the industry.

“As technology advances within farming, the risk of accidents can actually increase. While the safety of machinery and equipment has improved, the fact that machines can do so much more can make people complacent."

Statistics show a farmer is six times more likely to die in the workplace than a construction worker, and that farming has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.

Farming has the poorest safety record for a workplace in the UK.

Farming has the poorest safety record for a workplace in the UK.

In an attempt to raise awareness and save lives, Farm Safety Foundation, a charity, has developed a training course to help farmers aged between 16 and 40 to think about safety on the job.

The hands-on learning experience had students work out what happened at each "accident," discuss what action should be taken and what could be done to prevent the accident happening in the future.

Mr Mashatise said: "It’s fantastic to have an outside organisation like the Farm Safety Foundation come in to help us deliver this vital message and for the students to face scenarios they could come across on their own farms when they go home or in their future workplace.”

Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Campaign Specialist for the Farm Safety Foundation added: “The problem of accidents on farms is not going away and we are not naïve enough to believe we can solve this entirely but by digging deeper into the detail and engaging with the younger farmer, we have found that significant improvements in behaviour are possible. As the farmers of the future, young people with a solid knowledge of safe working practices will have a greater capability to make informed and safe decisions which stands the industry in greater stead.

Farmers are six times more likely to die on the job than a construction worker.

Farmers are six times more likely to die on the job than a construction worker.

“Working closely with highly committed colleges like Moulton College, it is hoped that together we can make a difference and change attitudes to health and safety in tomorrow’s farming community.”

The Farm Safety Foundation was established by rural insurers NFU Mutual in 2014 as a charity to help raise awareness of farm safety among young farmers, challenge and change their attitudes towards farming safely and reduce the toll of serious and fatal injuries which bring heartbreak and misery to families and rural communities every year.

For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation, visit www.yellowwellies.org.