GRAHAM BURNETT of Aldie Farm, Tain, was seriously injured in a farming incident, where he ended up impaling himself on an exposed fork loader.

Sharing his story during farm safety week, he encouraged others to vocalise concerns they may have whilst working in a farming environment – where there is any doubt that their safety is being put at risk.

Mr Burnett looks after 300 acres and runs 100 cows on his farm alongside wife Paula and son Ewan. Last year, the 57-year-old, who is also a part-time lorry driver, was helping another farmer load bulls onto a cattle float, where an exposed fork loader was being used to block off the cattle from escaping through hoisting a temporary fence.

Despite reading the warning signs, Mr Burnett was thrown off balance by the bulls knocking the lorry door and ended up impaled on one of the fork spikes.

“Against all of the recommendations of staying on the spike until help arrived, I was on my tip toes and managed to get myself off it,” he explained. “On hindsight this probably made the injury worse. There was a seven-inch deep hole, and a four-inch gash in my buttock – I could fit my fist in it.”

Following surgery, he saw a doctor daily for six weeks to have his dressing replaced, missing the full harvest season. He then had a phased return to work due to struggles sitting.

Moving forward, Mr Burnett stressed that although he is safety conscious on his own farm that he will never hesitate to raise his concerns regarding safety measures on another’s farm in the future and encouraged others to do likewise.