FARMERS in Devon are being urged to attend a farm safety event to hear how they can reduce the risk of incidents.

The event, hosted by NFU Mutual and the NFU, is being held at Holsworthy Livestock Market on Thursday, June 22, with specialists on-hand to provide advice and information on minimising the risk across a range of farm tasks, including working with large machinery and working at height.

Mark Ley, NFU Mutual’s Agent for the Halwill office, said organising the session at Holsworthy Livestock Market would enable a large number of farmers to attend.

“Farm safety is still far from where it needs to be,” Mark said.

“As a local NFU and NFU Mutual office we have experienced losses and injuries among friends and clients and so we feel very passionate about organising these events.”

Research from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed farmers over 65 were at the greatest risk from accidents at work. Farms in the South West of England also record a higher proportion of accidents than the national average.

Matthew Ilsley, NFU Mutual Risk Management Services sales consultant for the South West said in May alone he was aware of at least six fatalities on farms across Britain, underlining the need for farm safety training and support.

“The South West has a high proportion of smaller family farms and often they don’t have the resources to invest in health and safety,” Matthew said. “That’s one reason it is so important we do what we can in this region to highlight the importance and assist with advice and education around farm safety.”

He added farmers and their families welcomed opportunities to learn more about staying safe on the farm.

“The farming community is quite close knit and everybody tends to hear about farm incidents quite quickly, and it has an effect on the community,” he said. “I know the team organising this event is hoping for a good take-up and I’m sure it will be time well spent for the farmers who attend.”

The event will run from 10.30am to 1pm. To book your place, please contact the Halwill Agency 01409 220191.