HSE figures on work-related deaths released

Farm Safety Monday_29004

Figures released today by the Health and Safety Executive show that 137 employees were killed at work during 2016/2017, of which 27 were in agriculture.

The total for farming is down from 29 in 2015/16. NFU Vice-president, and chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership, Guy Smith, said: “Although the number of agricultural worker deaths has dropped slightly, and we welcome the continued downward trend, twenty seven people losing their lives is still too many.

"Agriculture continues to have the highest rate of fatal injury in relation to the number of people employed. The fatalities rate per 100,000 employed in agriculture is 7.6% compared to an all industry average of 0.43% and we want to see this reduced.

“Safety should be a priority for all British farmers and we are encouraged by the measures that our members are taking to assess risks. The NFU fully supports activities that are making farms safer places and is working closely with industry partners to improve safety awareness.”

On Monday 24 July, the NFU and other members of the Farm Safety Partnership will be working together to raise  awareness of accident prevention in Farm Safety Week. There will be a different theme for each day including farm safety statistics, machinery and transport, falls, livestock and slurry and children on farms.

Later in the year, the NFU will be co-hosting a new event with the HSE encouraging farmers to become safety ambassadors and encourage a change in attitudes and behaviours. 100 farmers will be involved in this new farm safety awareness event on 30 October.

What can I do?

- A wealth of advice and inspiration can be found on our farm safety pages, including recent blogs on the risks for older workers, safety during farm visits and farm vehicles and children.

- NFU member? You can access Business Guides on farm safety ranging from the safe use of ATVs and vehicle health checks to risk assessments, fire safety and working with chemicals. Health and Safety Principles for Farmers and Growers offers a thorough grounding on the responsibilities of farm businesses. See what's available here.

- Find out about the NFU Mutual SafetyHub, which offers new tools to help farmers assess risks. Speaking at the hub launch during the recent Royal Cornwall Show, Mr Price said: “Smaller farms often face some of the highest risks in agriculture as their workers are carrying out a wider range of tasks, often on their own. Their attention can easily become distracted, so we would recommend having a risk assessment tool to help them assess threats, mitigate dangers and comply with legislation.”

Farm Safety Partnership- The NFU was a founder member of the Farm Safety Partnership. Visit the site for advice, farm safety news and case studies to inspire a renewed focus on your farm. Two recent campaigns are detailed below:

  • Stop! Think! Slurry Gas
    Slurry and the toxic gases that it can release are the cause of a number of deaths each year in agriculture. 
  • Safe Stop
    The Farm Safety Partnership's 'Safe Stop' Campaign focusses on the importance of following the 'Safe Stop' procedure: handbrake on; controls in neutral; engine off; and keys out, before leaving the cab.

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