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The Sun article criticising HSE's 'Make a promise. Come home safe' campaign

Geoffrey Podger , HSE Chief Executive responds

Dear Editor

There is another side to your piece in the Sun (Tuesday 10 February) on the HSE's current agriculture campaign. Judith Donovan is out of the country this week, otherwise she would be responding herself.

Farming remains one of the most dangerous ways to make a living in Britain. Less than 1.5 per cent of the working population is employed in agriculture, but the sector is responsible for between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of work related deaths each year. That's 455 preventable deaths in the last ten years.

The NFU and the union UNITE certainly do not see this campaign as "pointless", both organisations have given their full support, as have more than 6,000 farmers who have already responded.

Your manipulated quote "Working the land is hard and this knot is to stop farmers making mistakes", is incorrect and misleading.

Finally, the knot symbol of the campaign is actually, as HSE put it, "A small reminder to come home safe," and the families of the 39 farmers who died in incidents last year would certainly see the sense in that.

Geoffrey Podger
HSE Chief Executive

Updated 2013-01-23