Farmers in Cumnock and Doon Valley are being warned to pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk or face serious penalties.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are set to undertake a programme of inspections on farms across the country to ensure those responsible for protecting themselves and workers are complying with the law to prevent death, injury and ill-health.

HSE’s head of agriculture, Rick Brunt, said: “We are seeing signs of a change in attitude across the farming industry and while this is encouraging, these inspections act as a reminder to farmers of the importance of managing risks so that everyone can go home from their work healthy.”

Inspectors will be checking that risks are being controlled in specific areas including machinery, falls from height, children and livestock.

Mr Brunt added: “Everyone involved in farming has a role to play. Those working in the industry need to understand the risks they face and the simple ways they can be managed. Those that work with the industry can be part of the change that is so badly needed.

“Farmers, managers and workers are reminded that death, injuries and cases of ill-health are not an inevitable part of farming.”

The inspections initiative follows a series of compliance events that were developed as a result of research into farmers attitudes to risk and are aimed at changing behaviours in the industry.

Farmers in the area were given the opportunity to attend one of these events, paid for by HSE, to help them comply with the law and prepare for the inspections. HSE is now following up to make sure that all farms in the area are doing the right thing.

Agriculture has the poorest record of any industry in Britain and latest figures show that 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain in 2017/18 – around 18 times higher than the all industry fatal injury rate.