Last Friday was a First Aid refresher for Sarah with St John’s Ambulance in Ashford. It is always good to keep skills up to date and meet up with other work place First Aiders and hear their stories.
Two tragic stories have hit the news over last weekend. Firstly, a fatality on a farm. And as almost everyone knows the sudden and very dramatic collapse of Fabrice Muamba while playing in the FA Cup Final. It brings home to all of us the message that First Aid training is vitally important.
At the course, the two busiest ‘refreshers’ were a boarding school nurse and someone who worked in a food factory where the Chefs were frequently burning themselves. Their first aid skills were constantly used, unlike on a farm where when called upon it is quite likely to be something major.
Statistically farming is very dangerous, and so many farmers work alone which increases the risks. A combination of large machinery, animals, and pressure to get the job done can all lead to dangerous situations.
Ask any one of us and we can all tell you about a close call we have had, or the various trips to the casualty department for stitches and x rays. Yet the most shocking thing about this mornings refresher was the trainer who said that in the 20 years he had been running these courses I was only the fourth person from a farm to be trained on that he knew of.
Here is a quote from the NFU website: “ Over the last ten years, 455 people have died in accidents on British farms and 1,700 were seriously injured. Some 38 of those deaths came last year. Agriculture is now the most dangerous industry in the country, based on accidents per worker. ”
There are various initiatives which run from time to time trying to promote greater awareness and care during farming operations.
“Make the promise and come home safe” is one such scheme run by the Health and Safety Executive. There are stories on there which make very uncomfortable reading, but I urge you to publicise this campaign and remind all those involved in agriculture to think about making the promise, as well as training in First Aid, and any other specific training that may be necessary.
Internet issues. Apologies for so few posts this week, we are really struggling with our internet connection to the farm office. We will keep you updated.