A NEW safety campaign has been launched to cut fatalities and serious injuries on farms and crofts.

In the last 10 years nearly 80 people have died on farmland and dozens more have suffered serious injuries while working.

The most recent death involved Zach Fox, 18, who was killed after falling into a 50ft silo tower at a farm overlooking the village of Denholm, Roxburghshire.

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Since 2010, agriculture has been the most dangerous industry in the Britain, based on fatalities per worker.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show 13 people have been killed on Scottish farms by falls; nine in incidents involving livestock; 26 when their vehicles have overturned or they have been struck by a moving vehicle; and six when they came into contact with working machinery or equipment.

Now a partnership has been launched urging greater safety on the land. It brings together the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland, insurance company NFU Mutual, the Health and Safety Executive and the Scottish Government.

The Farm Safety Scotland Partnership has produced a campaign leaflet, Working Together to Save Lives, which outlines the four most common dangers on farms - Falls, Animals, Transport and Equipment - and urges farmers and crofters not to leave their safety to FATE.

Referring to Zach Fox and five-year-old Liam Lyons, who died after being hit by a tractor driven by his dad on a farm on County Offaly, Ireland, earlier this week, NFU Scotland vice-president Allan Bowie said: "Tragic incidents in the past few days across the UK and Ireland remind everyone that farms can be dangerous places."

He said the partnership intended to change behaviour and attitudes to reduce the risks of common farm jobs.

"Most people will be able to recall a close call situation that could so easily have resulted in serious injury or even fatality. By adopting some simple steps as part of everyday working ­practices we can reduce the number of accidents and deaths on Scotland's farms," he said.

Martin Malone, Scotland manager of NFU Mutual, the insurer for the majority of Scottish farms, said: "While other industries, including construction, have seen accidents fall sharply in recent years, the number of people killed and injured on our farms has remained high. Farming is now the most dangerous occupation in Great Britain."