HC Deb 14 December 1966 vol 738 cc444-5
16. Mr. Peter Mills

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the total number of deaths and injuries to persons due to accidents on farms so far this year; and what plans he has to reduce this number.

34 and 40. Mr. Hazell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) when he proposes to introduce legislation requiring the fitting of all wheeled tractors used in agriculture with an approved safety frame or cab, as nearly 40 per cent. of all fatal accidents in agriculture may be attributed to overturning tractors;

(2) what is the number of fatalities in agriculture caused by overturning tractors from 1st January, 1966 to date.

52. Sir Clive Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he intends to introduce legislation regarding safety cabs on agricultural wheeled tractors weighing 11 hundredweight or more and what certificates of exemption will be allowed in the new regulations.

Mr. Hoy

108 fatal accidents were reported in Great Britain by the end of November. 8,068 had been injured up to the end of September. Overturning tractors caused 42 of the deaths. My right hon. Friend hopes to make a statement shortly about regulations on safety frames for tractors, including the question of exemptions. Regulations already made deal with other hazards that can be controlled by law. We are also doing everything we can to encourage farm safety by widespread publicity and advice.

Mr. Mills

Is not this increase very sad and disturbing? Surely action is necessary as quickly as possible in the form of legislation and the better training of young tractor drivers as they come on? I would go so far as to ban certain hills and steep slopes from being used for mechanical cultivation.

Mr. Hoy

The hon. Gentleman's concluding words reflect the considerable number of these accidents. We all deplore this increase in the number of deaths, although we are grateful that the injury figure Las gone down. The Government must consult all those concerned before changes of this kind can be made. This we have done, and we hope to bring legislation forward fairly soon.

Mr. Hazell

I appreciate my hon. Friend's reply, but a great number of fatalities seem to be caused by overturning tractors. Since safety committees on a voluntary basis have not functioned properly, will he set up, under the umbrella of agricultural executive councils, new farm safety committees?

Mr. Hoy

I will look at that suggestion, but these safety committees have done a considerable amount of good work which should not be underestimated.

Mr. Body

Will the hon. Gentleman give consideration to the resolution passed at the last conference of the N.U.A.W., which urged that instruction be given in the schools in rural areas?

Mr. Hoy

In our training schemes a considerable job is done, and we should not overlook the advice given by the N.A.A.S. in this direction.

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