DOZENS of students spent a day learning about the dangers of the farmyard with practical demonstrations and scenarios.

More than 70 students from Abingdon and Witney College’s Common Leys Farm campus, in Hailey, watched demonstrations covering the everyday hazards faced by farmers.

The day provided an opportunity for those working towards agriculture qualifications to get the latest advice and standards from the industry.

The Farm Safety Foundation, also known as Yellow Wellies, is the charitable arm of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Mutual and were responsible for delivering the programme on May 9.

Ed Noble, farm manager at the campus, said: “Health and safety is at the forefront of everything we do at Abingdon and Witney College.

“We think it’s very important to be working with leading industry experts on these issues, to ensure our students have up-to-date and thorough training on farm safety.

“This is the second year we have worked with NFU Mutual and we’re pleased that this year’s focus on young farmers is directly related to our student’s education.”

The students were able to observe four ‘what if?’ scenarios: livestock crushing in a stockyard, a fall from a ladder, unsafe practice with a chainsaw and limb entrapment in a tractor.

They were then guided through the next steps and procedures when reacting to the emergency.

Antony Davis, 18, of Witney, who is on a Level Two agriculture course, said: “I found each of the four safety sessions very informative and interesting.

"The demonstration with the tractor highlighted how a split-second mistake can be life-changing.

“It’s highlighted to me the importance of listening during these training sessions.”

Petra Martin from NFU Mutual said: “The agriculture industry has high accident rates – in fact it is six times higher than construction – and the NFU has been working with the industry to produce high-quality training to improve the knowledge of both farm owners and workers.

“By teaching students good practice we hope to produce a trickle-up effect where new entrants to the industry teach the older workers best practice.”

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