The practical health and safety sessions, which took place on Wednesday (18 April), were supported by rural insurance company Cornish Mutual, as part of its ‘FarmSafe’ campaign.
A series of five interactive workshops ran throughout the day, covering the topics of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use, livestock handling, working at heights, chainsaw use and COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).
Cornish Mutual, which has thousands of Members across Devon, has sponsored the Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs for a number of years, helping to provide skills training and promote recruitment - their working partnership goes back over 60 years.
The firm launched the ‘FarmSafe’ initiative earlier this year to raise awareness of health and safety issues and reduce the number of deaths and injuries on farms in the South West.
Cornish Mutual’s local Inspector in Devon Nick Wales (pictured with safety instructor Matthew Sparshott, Chairman of Devon Young Farmers Nick Harding, and young farmer Nathan Gillard) says: “Agriculture has the worst record for deaths and serious injuries compared to all other industries in the UK, so we can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to be aware of health and safety on the farm. The workshops were a great way of introducing the subject to Devon’s young farmers, covering all the basics in an informative, engaging way – which could one day end up saving a life.”
The Devon Federation of Young Farmers has 38 clubs across the county, with more than 1,400 members. Each club is joined together by six groups – North Devon, Tarka, Exe Valley, East Devon, Haldon and South Dartmoor. The groups organise a number of events each year including county sports and competitions, training, foreign exchanges, entertainment evenings and balls.
Nick Creasy, County Organiser for Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs adds: “We are very grateful to Cornish Mutual for funding the workshops and helping to raise awareness of the very serious issue of health and safety on the farm. I’d also like to thank Bicton College and the Health and Safety Executive for helping us to run the workshops and teaching both YFC members and local farmers about the dangers of farm work.”
As well as sponsoring Devon Young Farmers, Cornish Mutual is also involved with Young Farmers across Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall. For more information about Cornish Mutual’s ‘FarmSafe’ initiative, visit www.cornishmutual.co.uk/farmsafe.
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