Of all major industry sectors within the UK, farming has the highest fatal injury rate by some distance, according to recent Health and Safety Executive statistics.
This alarming statement is backed up by the recently-published Health and safety at work report, which shows that agriculture, forestry and fishing has a fatal injury rate of 8.61 per 100,00 workers compared to the average across all industries of 0.41 per 100,000. This means that farming has a fatal injury rate roughly 21 times higher than the average across Great Britain.
The report collected statistics between March 2021-2022 and suggests that 29% of the 22 recorded fatalities were as a result of being struck by a moving vehicle. A further 17% were from fatal animal injuries and 14% from falls from a height.
When it comes to injuries, the report shows that farmers are almost four times more likely to be harmed at work than any other industry worker. More than 4,000 farm staff per 100,000 reported an injury between March 2021-2022, compared to the average across all other industries of just over 1,000 per 100,000 workers during that time. These worrying figures that show little sign of reducing.
CLA Vice President Gavin Lane, who chairs the Farm Safety Partnership, says:
"Another year, and another devastating set of statistics for health and safety. Unless we move forward, it will be the same story, with shattering consequences for farming families and communities across the UK."
We can never accept that this is a risk that comes with the job. Our industry must work together to educate and embed new practices to make farming safer. The Farm Safety Partnership is committed to working across the sector to deliver vital health and safety information, and training, so farmers are as safe at work as anyone else.
Working closely with the Farm Safety Partnership, the CLA is continuing to work hard to reduce the number of farming injuries and fatalities, including the following initiatives: