Fatal Injuries on Farms: Agriculture Remains the Worst Industrial Sector

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently published a report which shows that agriculture has the worst rate of fatal injuries of all the major industrial sectors. The report shows that, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, there were 41 fatal injuries on farms and agricultural related activities. This is almost double the previous year, and around 20 times higher than the average five-year annual rate across all industries.

The acting head of agriculture at HSE said: “Agriculture is a vital part of our economy and everyone involved is rightly proud of the quality and standard of the food produced.

“It is not acceptable that agriculture continues to fail to manage risk in the workplace. We need everyone to play their part to improve their behaviour, do things the right way and ‘call out’ poor practices whenever they are seen.

“There are simple safety measures people should follow to reduce injury like remembering to put on handbrakes, fasten lap belts in cabs, make sure anyone operating a quad bike wears a helmet and receives sufficient training, don’t put cows and calves in fields with public footpaths; and make sure to switch off the power to vehicles or machinery before attempting to carry out repairs.”

Common Causes of Fatal Injuries on Farms

The most common causes of fatal injuries on farms were

  • struck by moving vehicles
  • killed by an animal
  • struck by an object
  • falling from height, and
  • contact with moving machinery.

There are also risks of farm injury to workers when it comes to enclosed spaces. These include slurry pits, silos, and fuel storage tanks. Working in these spaces can cause drowning, asphyxiation, or exposure to toxic gases. Other industrial illness claims that farm workers may develop include noise-related hearing loss, respiratory diseases, certain types of cancer, and even vibration white finger.

Employer’s Responsibility

Your employer is responsible for keeping you safe at work. On a farm, this is even more important, as there are a lot of things that can cause an injury. Your employer must make sure that they meet the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999). They do this by conducting risk assessments to ensure that they keep everyone safe. Agricultural employers must make sure that they do everything possible to avoid staff having farm related injuries whilst at work.

If you have a farming accident and have to take time off work, you should get agricultural sick pay. This means that you should get at least the agricultural minimum wage whilst you are off. This is, however, likely to be less than your usual wage.

If you are self-employed, you may still be able to make a claim. Farm workers are often self- employed on a contractor basis. This means, importantly, there is still usually a company that they are working for. If the business you are working for fails in their duty to keep you safe, then they may be responsible for your farm accident.

How We Can Help with Fatal Injuries on Farms

Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes fatal accidents on farms. So contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.