The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) field operations directorate will be carrying out farm inspections in the months of January to March of circa 100 farms, in each of several regions of the UK, including Wales.

These inspections will focus on safety aspects of farming, including child safety, working at height and depth and risks posed by machinery operation and livestock handling. This is following another year of agriculture having a poor safety record compared with any other industry, with the sad death of 33 people on farm in the 2017/18 period, according to HSE statistics (

Stuart Chacksfield, NFU group secretary for Oswestry & District, said: "The majority of deaths last year were involving livestock, which we hope serve as a warning to government of the devastating consequences cattle TB testing requirements can have on families and reinforcing the need for improved TB prevention measures to reduce the risk of such injuries caused, with many injuries occurring each year whilst farmers and vets struggle with the requirements of TB testing their cattle herds.

"NFU members can gain advice on safety and farm legislation requirements from the NFU and if more practical on farm support is required, NFU Mutual Risk Management Services Ltd provide direct on-farm safety support, including auditing your farm business for hazards and advising what legislation would apply, providing written Risk Assessments and employee training as well as COSHH and Fire Risk Assessments, amongst others.

"I would urge farmers who feel they need assistance in bringing their businesses Health & Safety up to date, to contact myself or [NFU district secretary] Gemma Henman, who will point them in the right direction.

"One particular requirement, LOLER, applies to farms operating lifting equipment or compressed vessels (i.e. compressors) to have an annual engineering inspection, local agricultural engineering firms can usually carry this out, such as W&M Engineering or, it can be included as part of your Farm Insurance.

"It is a sad fact that many of the serious injuries and deaths on farms could be prevented every year by reviewing the hazards and getting some simple measures in place so, please make your New Year's resolution to keep you, your family and workers safe and consider the risks involved whilst doing the amazing job of being a Great British Farmer, producing Great British Food for our nation!"