Sunday, August 26, 2007

A sad commonality...

I have friends in Denmark, and have visited several Danish farms. The farmers there have always impressed me with their skills and professionalism, as well as being warm and hospitable. I was somewhat surprised to see they struggle with the same safety issues as the US, although they apparently had one very bad year recently.
Tragic accidents on the farm were all too common last year, claiming the lives of 19 people, according to statistics from the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service and the Agricultural Working Conditions Board.

The 2006 figure is equal to the number of deaths from 2001-2005 combined. Among the 19 deaths were three children.

‘It is often older workers that lose their lives, but the farmers’ children are also killed on occasion by the heavy machinery,’ the board’s joint secretary, Anne Marie Hagelskj√¶r, told employee union 3F. ‘The sharp increase in the number of agricultural accidents is extremely worrying.’

The four principle causes of farm accidents are falls, unattended children, machinery and farm vehicles in traffic. [More]

One of the responses listed by the farm employees union to the report was stricter licensing for farm machinery operators. This strikes me as a good idea.

Check "Perspective" in Top Producer magazine for more soon.

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