Students get real-life training on avoiding farming accidents

Reaseheath College agriculture students were taken onto the scene of four life threatening ‘incidents’ which happened on the college’s working farm last week.

The scenarios were of typical farming accidents and the students had minutes to work out what had happened, decide on immediate action, discuss first aid procedures and explore what measures should be taken to prevent it happening again.

Students learn how to safely deal with accidents caused by falling from height

Students learn how to safely deal with accidents caused by falling from height

The event was a free educational workshop delivered by The Farm Safety Foundation, an award-winning charity established by NFU Mutual to help raise awareness of farm safety among young farmers.

The workshop consisted of ‘crime scenes’ depicting typical farming accidents. These were: crush injuries caused by livestock, falls from high buildings, accidents involving all-terrain vehicles and injuries caused by machinery – in particular those using power take–off.

 About 60 Level 2 and Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture students took part in the all-day workshop and spent around 20 minutes studying each scene before discussing it.

A 'typical farm accident' scenario involving an all-terrain vehicle demonstrated to students

A ‘typical farm accident’ scenario involving an all-terrain vehicle demonstrated to students

Reaseheath Agricultural lecturer Phil Gibbon said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to reinforce the college’s high standards of safety teaching, which are embedded throughout our curriculum. Unfortunately, statistics show agriculture is still a very dangerous industry in which to work and we all need to show commitment towards raising safety standards.”

The Farm Safety Foundation, which was set up two years ago, has doubled the number of student workshops it is offering nationwide in 2016 as part of its ‘Yellow Wellies’ campaign. A total of 22 colleges have booked the activity, with the Reaseheath event being the first of the year.

Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Campaign Specialist emphasised: “We need to ensure farm safety remains at the forefront of every activity which students explore as part of their journey into agriculture. This is key to our aim of reducing the toll of injuries and fatalities which bring heartbreak and misery to numerous families and rural communities every year.

“By working closely with colleges like Reaseheath, we hope that together we can make a difference by challenging and changing attitudes to health and safety in tomorrow’s farming community.”

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture student Rowan Braunton said: “We are taught health and safety in the classroom but seeing real life situations really brings it home in a practical way. The fact that we’re discussing it at college makes it ‘cool’ among my generation.”