TTC Group is urging companies employing rural drivers to stem the rise in agricultural deaths involving vehicles through an increased focus on driver training.
With deaths involving a vehicle accounting for 30% of all agricultural deaths in the UK over the last five years, measures could be implemented to prevent more than 30 deaths a year, according to the group.
Andy Wheeler, training designer at TTC, said: “The Government accident statistics show that sadly for agricultural workers, the largest proportion of fatalities recorded are involving vehicles and that year on year, this number is rising.
“A simple but effective first step for many businesses involved in agriculture, fishing and forestry to take to protect their workers from these accidents is to ensure that all drivers are fully trained in the best practice of off-road and rural driving.”
The 4x4 off road driving courses offered by TTC are designed to educate drivers to the capabilities of off-road vehicles and the risks they pose. TTC said major injuries and deaths can be prevented for a group of workers at high risk of both.
The courses can help prevent vehicle-related accidents, by providing drivers with a grounding on to operate these vehicles safely on the public highway and in off-road environments, said TTC.
Wheeler added: “A vehicle which has become immobile in the field due to mud or ice, not only incapacitates the driver and passengers of that vehicle, but also often necessitates the use of another vehicle to help free the first.
“Tying up multiple vehicles and drivers at once, for incidents which can be avoided through the application of correct driving techniques not only increases the risk to employees, but also the cost and loss of productivity to business owners.”