Public Sector: HSE seeks agency for farming safety brief

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is looking for an agency to encourage farmers to commit to better health and safety practices.

The brief to work on the 'Make The Promise' campaign was put out last week by the Central Office of Information (COI). Agencies will be invited to pitch once initial submissions are received. The one-year brief starts in April.

The campaign is a strand of the HSE's 'Agriculture Revisited' programme, set up to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries in agriculture.

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous jobs, accounting for about one in five work-related deaths in Britain every year. In the past ten years, there have been 455 deaths in farming.

The main causes of fatalities include workplace transport, falls from height and being struck by moving objects and livestock.

The brief reads: 'MTP takes a "hearts and minds" approach, asking farmers to make a promise, not to government but to themselves, their families and their farms, to come home safely at the end of the day.'

So far, the campaign has revolved around 'promise knots' - knots made of baling twine distributed to farmers that they can display around their farms to remind themselves of their pledge to improve their safety behaviour.

Promise knots have received mixed comments on sites such as farmingforum.co.uk and the COI's brief acknowledges that they have been 'controversial'.

The primary target audience is farmers and farm workers on smaller, often family-run farms. Also more at risk are farmers aged between 35 and 44.

The HSE aims to gain broadcast coverage, plus national farming trade media and local media, alongside attendance at trade shows and conferences.

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