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farmsAn advice day to help farmers operate safely across all aspects of their work is being organised this month by the UK’s leading rural insurer NFU Mutual.

The Farm Safety Day, which is free to attend and includes lunch, takes place on Wednesday March 13 at Brunsell Farm, Cat Lane, Stourton Caundle, DT10 2JX in the Blackmore Vale.

Jude Green, NFU Mutual Agent for North Dorset, who is organising the event with her colleague, Justin Pinder, said the aim was to provide a wide range of instruction and support for farmers to help them run a truly ‘safe’ farm.

‘It’s about keeping yourself safe, your employees safe, your stuff safe and staying safe legally, understanding all the rules and regulations,’ she said.

It’s not just practical skills that will be tackled. NHS mental health specialist Kisi Kent will also be making a presentation. Research suggests farmers are at an increased risk of suffering from poor mental health due to the stress of the job, rural isolation and often a reluctance to seek help.

Another health concern on the farm – bacterial infections leading to sepsis – is also on the agenda with a presentation from Sarah Hamilton-Fairley, joint CEO of the UK Sepsis Trust.

The Trust was set up to spread information about the symptoms of sepsis, which can be deadly but is treatable if the signs are spotted early and antibiotics are administered.

Farmers are at greater risk of contracting the condition because of a danger of infection from cuts grazes and other injuries picked up in the course of their work.

Farmers can get advice at the event on a range of tasks, from operating lifting equipment to using chain saws, with the help of experts from Dorset Training.

Other presentations will consider machinery safety, with advice from Martin Spicer of Dorset machinery dealers CJ Cox, reducing the risks from working at height, with a presentation from Gwyn Barlow, South West Regional Manager with Risk Management Services and advice from NFU Transport Adviser Sarah Batchelor on safe farm transport.

Anyone wishing to attend the event should register by telephoning the North Dorset offices of NFU Mutual on 01258 473299 or email sturminsternewton@nfumutual.co.uk

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