Member news: NFU Mutual launches Farm Safety Foundation

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Rising concern over the continuing high level of fatal and life-changing injury accidents on farms has prompted UK ICMIF member and leading rural insurer NFU Mutual to set up a charitable foundation to help farmers work safely.  NFU Mutual’s board has pledged to provide financial support for the newly-formed Farm Safety Foundation – including a GBP 250,000 donations for its first year.  The foundation will work closely with farmers, the National Farmers’ Union and a range of farming organisations to help reduce the toll of fatal and serious injury accidents which, regrettably, have made farming the most dangerous occupation in the UK. Whilst farming accounts for just 1.5 per cent of the UK’s workforce, farmers account for 15-20 per cent of all workplace fatalities. As a result, it’s the UK’s most dangerous profession by far.

Over the coming years the foundation will be conducting research, mounting safety awareness campaign and providing practical advice and training for farmers and their workers.  The foundation will be working closely with the Farm Safety partnership of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NFU Mutual hopes to see a noticeable clear reduction in accidents and deaths over the five-year period of the campaign – but we accept that changing behaviour can take time.

NFU Mutual is ideally placed to promote farm safety and protect our members and all those that live and work in the countryside.  We aim to establish ourselves as a leading authority on farm safety, raising awareness in the farming and agricultural community of the seriousness of farm accidents and the devastating impact they can have on families and businesses.

These boots are made for talking ……. about farm safety!

The Campaign will be led by the image of yellow wellies and be asking farmers the question ‘Who would fill your boots?’ in the event of an accident or death.

NFU Mutual employees arriving for work last week were greeted by an unusual sight – a pair of nine feet high yellow wellies standing proud by the entrance to the building.

As part of the insurer’s ‘Yellow Wellies’ campaign and to mark the launch of its charitable Farm Safety Foundation to help farmers work safely,  the giant yellow wellies, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Who would fill your boots?’ stand as a poignant reminder of the emotional and financial effect that farm accidents have on farming families across the UK.

Victoria Walton, Press Officer at NFU Mutual comments: “In 2013, 29 people working in agriculture were killed in a work-related accident and many more suffered serious or life-changing injuries. ‘Yellow Wellies’ is all about helping to create an environment where farmers are capable, able and motivated to work safely.”