Accident scenes recreated in the style of hit series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation have been helping to teach students at Oatridge the value of farm safety.
The Farm Safety Foundation worked with health and safety experts Risk Management Services and SRUC lecturers to tailor their course to meet students’ needs.
Small groups spent approximately 15 minutes at each scenario, which were set up at locations on the college’s working farm to provide a realistic setting. This approach enabled students to work out what may have happened at each “accident scene”, decide what immediate action should be taken, contemplate first aid implications and explore what measures should be taken to prevent the accident happening in future.
According to RIDDOR figures, a farmer is five times more likely to die in the workplace than a construction worker. Last year alone, there were 33 deaths in the agricultural industry in Great Britain, with five in Scotland and many more accidents caused serious and life-changing injuries.
The Farm Safety Foundation was established by rural insurer NFU Mutual as an independent charity and, since 2015, it has developed and delivered a unique farm safety outreach programme to more than 5,000 agriculture students in 41 different land-based colleges and universities throughout the UK.
Graeme Ligertwood, SRUC health and safety chair for education, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Farm Safety Foundation to provide practical, hard-hitting training that instils a deep understanding of the need to work safely which will stay with students through their careers.
“While the safety of machinery and equipment has improved, the fact that machines can now do so much has the potential to make people complacent. Our students represent the future workforce of Scottish agriculture and it is important that they appreciate and understand the risks before entering employment.”
Martin Malone, Regional Manager for NFU Mutual in Scotland, said: “It’s great to see that SRUC have signed up to receive this unique and innovative Lantra accredited course. This educational outreach programme demonstrates the need to put safety first at all times when working on a farm or croft – and the risks of becoming complacent when working with large machinery and livestock on a daily basis.
“However, it is clear from the latest farm accident figures that there’s a lot more work to be done to help farmers of all ages work safely and, for this reason, we’re proud to help the Farm Safety Foundation achieve their goals while encouraging all those working within the industry to make safety a priority through our ongoing membership of the Farm Safety Partnership Scotland (FSPS).”
Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation added: “We believe that the commitment of forward-thinking colleges like SRUC can make a difference and change attitudes to health and safety in tomorrow’s farming community.”
SAC Consulting, part of SRUC, is part of Farm Safety Partnership Scotland, which also consists of NFU Scotland, the Scottish Government, Health and Safety Executive Scotland, NFU Mutual Insurance, The Scottish Farmer, and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs.
For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation please visit www.yellowwellies.org