Farm Safety Week: Falling deaths, but still a way to go

Farm Safety Week, which runs until Friday, aims to reduce the number of accidents which continue to give farming the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK & Ireland.

Of the people killed within farming over the last year, 20 were agricultural workers and one was a member of the public – a four-year-old child.

A new Health & Safety Executive (HSE) report, published today, outlines a 37.5% decrease of fatal injuries within farming from the previous year’s figure of 32.

Stephanie Berkeley, manager of The Farm Safety Foundation and Farm Safety Week, said: “To mark the start of the annual Farm Safety Week campaign, HSE has shared its in-depth report into fatal injuries in the sector and revealed that over the past year, a total of 21 people in England, Scotland and Wales were killed in agriculture  – 20 agriculture workers and one member of the public  –  a four year old child. The biggest cause of these fatalities was farm transport.

“Workers over the age of 55 were disproportionately at risk of death following an incident. When comparing older and younger farm worker age groups, the five-year fatal injury rate is nearly six times higher for over 65s compared to the 16-24 age group. Even with the encouraging news that numbers are dropping this year, agriculture still has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, a shocking 18 times higher than  the  all-industry rate, accounting for around 20% of worker fatalities.”

Now in its eighth year, Farm Safety Week brings together five countries over five days with one clear goal – to remind farmers and farm workers to take safety seriously, the number of life-changing and life-ending accidents on farms can be reduced.

 

 

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