Farming – The UK’s deadliest industry
The Health and Safety Executive have released their latest annual workplace fatality data, and farming continues to be the UK’s deadliest industry.
Indeed, workers in agriculture, forestry and fishing are on average 20 times more likely to be killed at work those working in any of the other sectors included in the report. In the UK in 2018/19, some 39 farm workers were killed.
Of those who died, 14 were struck by a moving vehicle. Nine were killed by an animal and seven fell from a height.
I recently supported the family in a fatal case where a farm worker who was covering a stack of hay bales when a bale from the top fell and crushed him. It would surprise many people to learn that on average, a round hay bale weighs a massive 370kg, making it easily capable of injuring anyone it falls on.
Many accidents result in serious injuries.
Other recent farm-related accidents I have supported on recently include a client who was charged at by a bull and thrown up into the air, sustaining a head injury and a ruptured Achilles tendon. Another had their hand severely crushed by a steer who became agitated during TB testing, resulting in permanent damage. A third client sustained a serious head injury after being struck by machinery while putting up fencing.
Farm workers deal daily with heavy loads, working at height, unpredictable animals and heavy machinery. It is not surprising that it tops the list of most dangerous workplaces.