HSE reveals agricultural farming's poor accident record

Health & Safety update 03/11/2011

New figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed that the number of workplace deaths are far higher within the agricultural sector.

Of the 15 workplace deaths that took place in Scotland between April 2010 and March of this year, nine of them were agricultural workers.

The five year average rate of workplace deaths across Britain is 0.7 per 100,000 employees. However, within the agricultural arena, the tally is 9.6 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Many of the workplace deaths within the sector are related to transport - six of the 15 fatalities in Scotland involved workers being hit by moving vehicles or being trapped in a vehicle which had overturned.

Head of HSE in Scotland, Paul Stollard, told The Courier, “Agriculture is still one of the most dangerous professions in Britain and the Scottish fatality statistics sadly support this fact.

“These incidents can be avoided, often through simple, low-cost steps. That's why we are continuing our programme of safety and health awareness days and why we are committing to working closely with the industry and regulatory partners,” added Mr Stollard.

Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland president, told the newspaper that farmers and staff needed to alter their mindsets in relation to workplace safety in order to improve the poor death record.


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