Farming can be a very isolating and lonely occupation, with many farm workers spending long hours alone and working in remote situations, with and alongside machinery and livestock. Lone working in agriculture is common place, and while many can value and thrive in lone working environments, it can bring with it increased risk.
Concern is growing over the number of accident related injuries and deaths on our farms. Farming remains one of our country’s most hazardous industries, accounting for 1.5% of workers but 15-20% of all worker fatalities. This can have a devastating impact on both the farming family and the farm business.
Suicide rates in farming are also amongst the highest of any occupational group. Lone working can exacerbate feelings of hopelessness when things are not going well, contributing to the onset of depression. Equally, those already experiencing wellbeing issues can be at increased risk of having accidents, especially when working alone. Implementing some simple practices on your farm may well serve to protect you and your workforce.
Loneliness can affect all people, with over 9 million people in the UK saying they always or often feel lonely. Understanding how to cope with isolation and loneliness will help combat the fear of isolation.
Rural communities can often be thought of as friendly, family like groups, whereas this is not always the case. Particularly as younger generations move out and community events reduce, the lack of village spirit often enhances loneliness and makes people feel less connected. The following FarmWell downloadable document addresses the causes of loneliness, how to manage feelings of loneliness, and how to cope with isolation, click here to view. Download below.