HC Deb 19 November 1962 vol 667 cc793-4
1. Mr. Clive Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he will take to bring to the attention of the farming community the need for greater and more stringent safety precautions for farm machinery, especially tractors.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Christopher Soames)

New regulations laying down a safety code for farm machines have been made recently and the Agricultural Departments are using all the means at their disposal, including free leaflets and farm visits and demonstrations by an enlarged staff of field officers trained in safety work, to improve standards and encourage safety consciousness on farms. The Department's film on tractor safety has been seen all over the country.

Mr. Bossom

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that everything possible is being done on farms to reduce the number of accidents? Is not more education needed of tractor drivers, especially about maintenance?

Mr. Soames

We can never be satisfied. Deaths in the year up to 30th September were 19 down on the previous year to a figure of 119. That is a marked improvement, but accidents on farms will not be permanently reduced until farmers as a whole are persuaded that adequate safety precautions are both good farming and good business. I welcome the industry's initiative in forming safety committees in a number of counties.

Mr. Peart

What consultations has the Ministry had with manufacturers and the Engineering? Is not the design of safety precautions the key issue?

Mr. Soames

There is a later Question about that specific matter.

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