A YEAR-LONG safety initiative has been launched for the farming community.

The campaign, titled Dying to Feed You, is to raise awareness of the number of incidents and tragic accidents that happen to many farmers and their workers.

The fatal accident rate on British farms is higher than in any other sector. While only one per cent of the British workforce is employed in agriculture, the sector is responsible for 20 per cent of all fatal accidents at work.

Johann Tasker, chief reporter, said: “In 2020, there was a shocking year-on-year increase in the number of avoidable farm deaths. Farmers Weekly’s own assessment (confirmed by the HSE) suggested there had been more than 50 deaths on farms in the past 12 months.

“The number of self-reported non-fatal accidents is equally shocking. According to the latest statistics from the HSE, there were 12,000 in 2020 – this is almost double the all-Industries rate.

“Farming is one of the UK’s most dangerous jobs – with the highest number of workplace fatalities of all occupations. We have to do something about this.

“Farmers Weekly is pledging to use its voice, influence and reach to reduce the accident rate in agriculture.

“In the meantime, if you have had an accident on your farm and feel that your story would help our campaign, we would still like to hear from you.”

As part of the campaign, Farmers Weekly has spoken to William Sayers who was 12 years old when he lost his arm in an accident on the family farm in Northern Ireland, as well as Cumbria farmer Ashley Herbert, who was 24 when he lost his right hand in a forage harvester accident.”

To find out more visit www.fwi.co.uk/ms/dying-to-feed-you.