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Farming remains UK’s most dangerous industry

Staff Writer |
Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Wednesday show that agriculture remains the UK’s most dangerous industry, despite industry-led efforts to bring down the toll of accidents.

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The provisional figures show that between April 2016 and March this year 27 of 137 recorded workplace fatalities were in agriculture. The level of fatal injuries in agriculture is 18 times as high as the all-injury rate, as the sector continues to account for the second highest number of workplace fatalities, despite its small workforce.

Older workers were shown to be at risk in the HSE figures; workers over the age of 60 accounted for around a quarter of all fatal injuries in 2016/17, even though such workers make up only around 10% of the workforce.

The isolated nature of agriculture, work with machinery and large animals and the sector’s ageing workforce have been cited as reasons for the high number of accidents in the industry.

HSE said that, having fallen steadily since the 1980s, the rate of workplace fatalities has levelled off in recent years.

HSE Chair Martin Temple commented, “Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”

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