According to the most recent Health and Safety statistics, agriculture remains one of the most dangerous industries in Britain.
Statistics related to injury and ill-health indicates that agricultural workers sustained 292 injuries during last year. This figure is a drop from the five-year average of 395 previously reported.
One in one hundred employed and self-employed workers are active in agriculture, however, this sector experiences one in five fatal worker injuries.
During 2013/14, there were 27 fatalities, which is a decline from the average five-year figure of 33. This implies that the fatality rate for workers in this industry is higher than in any other industry.
In Britain, construction is considered the most dangerous occupation, followed by agriculture, manufacturing, and waste and recycling.
The chairman of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Judith Hackitt, said these statistics should act as a wake-up call to the industry. She said that although Britain has one of the best health and safety systems worldwide, it does not bring comfort to those who have suffered loss or those who are suffering as these accidents can be easily avoided if proportionate and sensible risk management procedures were implemented.
The most common injuries sustained in the farming industry over the past five years were:
• Being struck by falling or moving objects (13%)
• Falls (16%)
• Animal injuries (17%)
• Level slips, trips and falls (22%)
The most common cause of death in the agriculture sector over the past five years included:
• Asphyxiation or drowning (5%)
• Being trapped by collapse (6%)
• Injuries caused by animals (11%)
• Contact with moving machinery (11%)
• Falls from height (12%)
• Being struck by a moving or falling object (17%)
• Moving vehicles (19%)
• Other and unspecified (19%)
Statistics for 2013/14 indicate that there were:
• 133 fatal injuries, which is a decline from 150 during the previous year
• 77593 other injuries reported under the regulatory reporting scheme, which equals around 304.6 injuries per 100000 employees
• Around two million people suffering from an illness which is believed to have been caused or worsened by past or current work
Image Credit: USDAgov