Agriculture One of the Most Dangerous Sectors
According to the Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’) each year in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector around 4% of workers suffer from an illness they believe to be work-related and 4% of workers sustain a work-related injury.
The most common work-related injuries, illnesses and diseases experienced by those in agriculture are:
• being struck by a moving vehicle,
• being injured by an animal,
• being struck by an object,
• falling from a height,
• contact with machinery, and
• drowning or asphyxiation.
Transport remains the biggest killer in agriculture and nearly half of the workers killed were over 65. Figures published in the HSE’s report ‘Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2016/17’ show 30 people were killed as a result of farming and other agriculture-related activities during the year. Transport – overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles caused the most deaths.
Agriculture has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times higher than the All Industry rate.
It is a timely reminder for businesses to ensure they have in place appropriate insurance and risk assessment procedures and policies. The HSE has released a risk assessment guide for employers ‘Farmwise’, which provides guidance for the farming industry.