Statistics show fall in number of fatal farm accidents

Fatal farm accident figures have fallen but the industry still has the UK's worst statistics, the NFU says

Tractor on pastureland
Tractor on pastureland

Farming organisations are working hard to improve the UK’s farm safety record, the NFU said.

Latest statistics show a fall in the number of fatal accidents for the second year in a row but agriculture remains the industry with the highest rate of fatal accidents.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures have been published during Farm Safety Week (June 30 to July 6) designed to highlight the risks farmers face every day.

They show a fall in fatal accidents this year to 27 workers – down from 29 workers in 2012/13.

The Farm Safety Partnership, which is chaired by the NFU, is an industry-led initiative committed to improving agriculture’s safety record and to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries.

NFU vice-president Guy Smith said: “While any drop in the statistics is welcome news, we must not forget that every number represents many shattered lives. The NFU is actively working to help raise awareness of health and safety issues across the industry. The Farm Safety Partnership is leading the way to raise awareness - with each organisation that is represented dedicated to raising safety standards.

“Just taking a moment to stop and think about what could go wrong could save your life. Farm Safety Week is designed to raise awareness of health and safety and advise of simple steps that everyone can take. I would urge everyone to check equipment such as machinery and ladders for faults, wear appropriate footwear particularly when dealing with livestock to prevent crush injuries and make sure that you carry a mobile phone on you in a secure chest pocket - calling 999 or 112 will work wherever there is any mobile coverage - not just from your mobile provider.

“The NFU produces a number of safety-related briefings and business guides to help farmers consider the risks from their activities. We also support new initiatives like the NFU Mutual Farm Safety Foundation which is looking at challenging perceptions in the industry. We are committed to helping to reduce these accident statistics and believe that a good safety record is proof of a professional, modern industry.”

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