A new report has revealed that agriculture has the worst rate of worker fatal injury in Great Britain.
Published to coincide with #FarmSafetyWeek, which draws to a close today, the statistics highlight that agriculture’s fatality rate is 18 times higher than the average rate across all industries. Last year, 21 people were killed in agriculture, one was a child.
Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2019/20 reveals that transport-related incidents, such as overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles, were responsible for more deaths than any other cause last year. Around half of the workers killed were aged 55 years or older, with older workers being disproportionately most at risk of fatal injuries on farms. The youngest person killed last year was a four-year old child.
Despite the welcome reduction in numbers of deaths – 18 less than the previous year – much more remains to be done in this sector, said Adrian Hodkinson, the HSE’s Head of Agriculture.
‘Farm Safety Week is a timely reminder for the agriculture community to manage and control risk and not become complacent on farms,’ he added. ‘Death, injuries and cases of ill-health, including poor mental health, are not an inevitable part of farming. The safety and wellbeing of people working and living on farms must be treated seriously and things must be done the right way every day, not just this week.’
The safety watchdog is urging farmers to keep children safe while they stay at home on the farm during COVID-19 restrictions, issuing a reminder that it is illegal and unsafe to carry children under 13 in the cab of an agricultural vehicle.
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