Agriculture students at Moreton Morrell College experienced a farm safety training day with a difference this week with support from Stratford-based NFU Mutual’s Farm Safety Foundation.
The course, the first of its kind, is designed to show real life accidents and help the students see the impact of having an accident on the farm can have. The day consisted of four different scenarios: falls from height, slurry gas inhalation, quad bike riding and moving machinery, all based on the top accidents as shown by the HSE. With help from college staff and NFU Mutual’s teams, four groups of students were guided through what might happen on the farm and how accidents can be prevented.
The day was rounded off with a first aid demonstration and a talk from local farmer and ex-Moreton Morrell student James Chapman MBE, who lost an arm in a farm accident several years ago.
Rob Jones, Trustee for NFU Mutual’s Farm Safety Foundation said,
“We really want to help those coming into the farm industry to understand the importance of being safe. By creating an interactive day for the students it should ensure they remember practical ways how to avoid accidents, and near misses, more effectively than watching their usual health and safety video.”
Students Charlotte Gardner, 18 and Rosie Timms, 16, are both in the first year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture.
Charlotte said, “Today has been really good. We learn a lot about health and safety in all our lessons, but we just didn’t know what to expect this morning when we went out on the farm. We’ve both done first aid in the past so it was good to try and apply what we’d learned to the different scenarios we came across.
“It does make you think – even simple things like letting people know when you go out on a quad bike, it’s so important.”
Rosie said, “The course is such a good idea – it makes everything real. To hear James’ story was really powerful – you think ‘Actually it could happen to me’. It will play on our minds when we’re out on the farm so it’s definitely been worthwhile.”
The activity is part of the Yellow Wellies campaign, which asks the farming community “Who would fill your boots?” in the event of an accident or death – delivering the message that it’s worth taking the time to farm safely, not only for farmers but their family and friends’ sake too.
The initiative was made possible by the newly formed Farm Safety Foundation – a charity with the mission to create a culture of safe farming. The NFU Mutual board has committed to provide financial support for the foundation, including a £250,000 donation for its first year.
The Farm Safety Experience day is a pilot to see just how effective interactive activity is. The Foundation plans to roll out the concept to other agriculture colleges in 2015. For more information on the Yellow Wellies campaign, please visit http://www.yellowwellies.org
Students on agriculture courses at Moreton Morrell College experience life on the 345 hectare commercial farm – a real agricultural business – which gives them a genuine and authentic context of working in farming. The farm has a dairy unit, commercial sheep flock, pedigree beef herd, forage and arable cropping and students are fully immersed in operations, dealing with suppliers and customers and developing the skills to make them work-ready, sought-after employees.
The students also get the opportunity to work with a wide range of manual and mechanical tools to broaden their learning experience, including working with machinery that covers aspects of work in the field – ploughing, cultivation work, muck-spreading and mowing.
Moreton Morrell College offers a range of agriculture and countryside courses. For more information go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/courses or call 0300 456 0049.