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Safety on farms

posted 18 Jun 2012, 10:03 by David Mair   [ updated 18 Jun 2012, 10:03 ]
From HSE Website

Agriculture has one of the worst fatal accident and occupational ill-health records of any major employment sector.Fewer than 1.5% of the working population are employed in agriculture yet the sector is responsible for between 15% and 20% of fatalities to workers each year. The industry also has a rate of self-reported illness which is typically higher than the average for all industries.

The fatal injury incidence rate is the highest of the main industrial sectors, including construction. In 2010/11(p), there were 42 fatalities reported, which is consistent with the agriculture average over the past five years. 

The provisional fatal injury rate in agriculture for 2010/11 was 8.0 deaths per 100,000 workers. This compares to a rate of 9.6 when an average of the previous five years is examined – the highest of any industrial sector. Included in the definition of agriculture is horticulture, forestry and other related industries. In mainstream agriculture the area for particular concern is the self-employed.

In the ten-year period from 1999/2000 to 2008/09 a total of 436 people have been killed as a result of agricultural work activities and many more have been injured or suffered ill health.

This means an average of 43 people each year are killed in the industry – almost one death per week!

Of the 436 people killed over the past ten years:

  • 140 were employees (32%)
  • 245 were self-employed (56%)
  • 51 were members of the public, (12%) of which
  • 19 of these were children under the age of 16 years old
The main causes of death to workers continue to be:

  • transport (being run over or vehicle overturns) - accounting for 26% of fatalities
  • falling from a height (through fragile roofs, trees etc) - 16%
  • struck by moving or falling objects (bales, trees etc) - 16%
  • asphyxiation/drowning - 10%
  • livestock-related fatalities - 10%
  • contact with machinery - 8%
  • trapped by something collapsing or overturning - 6%
  • contact with electricity - 3%