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Herefordshire MP focusses on farm safety
11:32am Monday 19th May 2014 in News
BILL Wiggin MP has met with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following his concerns over the dangers posed by agriculture.
Mr Wiggin met Rick Brunt, head of agriculture at the HSE, following his Ten Minute Rule Bill which sought to improve the quality of data recorded by the HSE about fatal accidents involving animals.
The HSE record details of almost every sort of accident but were missing vital facts when it came to people who were injured by cattle, said Mr Wiggin.
“The minister Mike Penning MP wanted Mr Brunt to meet me to see if we could make progress,” said Mr Wiggin.
“I’m pleased that Mr Brunt and I both agreed the criteria I listed in my bill were the ones that should be recorded.
“He has decided to see what could be done internally rather than wait for my legislation.
“With or without my bill I shall be more than happy if health and safety inspectors record details such as: TB testing; presence of a dog; breed of cattle and the proper circumstances and ages of cattle; details of those injured; whether a right of way was involved; and whether the person was trespassing.
“What we are all concerned with here is reducing the risk of serious injury, or worse death, and learning the lessons from past accidents.
“It will take time for the database to build up but I hope this will help with the decisions taken now and in the future to cut the risk to farmers, their families and people enjoying the countryside.
“I am now hopeful that Mr Brunt will be able to deliver better statistics in future and health and safety will be more useful to all of us, including supermarkets who put pressure on farmers to deliver without knowing what the health and safety implications may be.
“Currently with the debate on badger culling going on and the pressure to TB test, the risk to farmers of injury is significant.
“It is easy to forget this risk in the heat of a debate but those of us who keep cattle, like me, can use their experience to make sure that Government remembers the real risks to the farmer, their families and those who live and work in the countryside.”