On Thursday 16th March, learners who are working towards qualifications in agriculture at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus had the opportunity to enjoy a unique ‘Introduction to Farm Safety’ workshop delivered by award-winning charity the Farm Safety Foundation.
The Lantra accredited workshop, which is aimed at young farmers attending agricultural colleges and is designed to raise awareness of potential dangers of working in agricultural environments, helps equip learners with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage a number of given scenarios and ensure the safety of themselves and others as they work. Since 2015, the training has been delivered to over 2,300 students in 35 colleges throughout the UK.
The hands-on, practical training gave learners the opportunity to use their investigative and problem solving skills as they embarked on a number of ‘CSI’ style sessions covering incidents linked to machinery, working at heights, a livestock crush and working with quad bikes. In each instance the learners worked to a time limit to establish what had happened at each scene, contemplate likely first aid implications and make decisions about what steps should be taken to avoid the situation arising in future.
Having also completed various classroom based activities, the successful completion of the full day workshop sees learners gain a Lantra accreditation and certificate.
South Staffordshire College’s Rural Estates Manager Graham Holt, who organised the training alongside the Farm Safety Foundation says “Young people are such an important target group for this farm safety message as the future of the industry. As technology advances within farming, the risk of accidents can actually increase. While the safety of machinery and equipment has improved, the fact that machines can do so much more can make people complacent.
“It’s fantastic to have an outside organisation like the Farm Safety Foundation come in to help us deliver this vital message and for the students to face scenarios they could come across on their own farms when they go home, as apprentices or in their future workplace.”
Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Campaign Specialist for the Farm Safety Foundation added: “The problem of accidents on farms is simply not going away. We are not naïve enough to believe we can solve this entirely but by digging deeper into the detail and engaging with the younger farmer, we have found that significant improvements in behaviour are possible. As the farmers of the future, young people with a solid knowledge of safe working practices will have a greater capability to make informed and safe decisions which will stand the industry in greater stead.
“Working closely with highly committed colleges like South Staffordshire College, it is hoped that together we can make a difference and change attitudes to health and safety in tomorrow’s farming community.”
The Farm Safety Foundation is supported by NFU Mutual and is an independent charity which raises awareness of farm safety among young farmers, and hopes to challenge and change their risk taking behaviours to reduce the toll of serious and fatal injuries which bring heartbreak to families and rural communities every year.
With hundreds of learners graduating each year, South Staffordshire College are experts when it comes to equipping people with the skills they need for a rewarding future. For those who want a career in agriculture, the college offer a wide variety of courses and apprenticeships, all of which are available at various levels, so regardless of exam results or previous qualifications, there is something for everyone
The addition of the College’s new AgriSTEM Academy means learners now have more choice than ever. Home to an AgriTech precision farming simulation lab, advanced mechatronics lab and much more, there is no better place to study for qualifications including Agricultural Engineering and Landbased Technology.
To find out more about the full range of courses and sign up online in just 25 seconds visit www.southstaffs.ac.uk or call 0300 456 2424
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