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East Midlands Farmers Urged To Strap Up During Harvest, UK

June 05, 2017

Farmers across the East Midlands are being reminded to wear safety straps when driving their tractors, especially during the busy harvest period.

Not wearing a lap strap or seat restraint puts farmers at greater risk of being thrown from the cab and crushed between the tractor and the ground. They are also putting themselves at risk of serious injury from being thrown around inside the cab.

Over the past ten years almost one in four (24 per cent) fatal accidents in agriculture have involved workplace transport, some of these involving tractors overturning.

The Health and Safety Executive is recommending that anyone driving a tractor fitted with roll-over protective structures wears lap straps when there is a risk that the tractor might overturn, for example, when driving on sloping ground, silage clamps and on ditch sides.

East Midlands HSE Inspector Stuart Parry says:

"Safety cabs have had to be fitted to tractors, by law, since the early 1970s and this has been a tremendous success in reducing fatalities but there are still several accidents every year where the driver is thrown from an overturning tractor.

"Lap straps can be fitted at relatively low cost when there are already mounting points on the seat, so could be considered a small price to pay for a potentially life saving bit of kit."

Farming remains one of the most dangerous professions in Great Britain, with 38 agriculture workers killed at work during 2009/10. Although only 1.5 per cent of the working population works in agriculture, the industry accounts for one in five work-related deaths every year. HSE is working closely with the industry to help it reduce death and injury.

The HSE guidance publication 'Tractor Action' has more information on general safety in working with tractors and Agricultural Information Sheet 37 has information on the use of seat restraints in other agricultural vehicles. Both are available for free here.