Dangers of farming highlighted by Farm Safety Week
Recently released data shows that the number of fatal accidents on UK farms is much higher than deaths in other industries.
Farm Safety Week – a nationwide week of advice and guidance for farmers led by the Farm Safety Foundation – was from July 6-10. The biggest causes of fatal accidents on the farms in Britain are cattle and vehicles. In 2014-15, four members of the public and 33 farm workers were killed due to being run over or hit by moving farm equipment, or trampled or crushed by cattle.
The week was host to five themes, with two days devoted to livestock and transport. Industry groups also focused on the safe use of machinery and fatalities caused by falls from height.
Over the course of 2015, six people died in accidents involving moving or falling objects, while another six people were asphyxiated or drowned in accidents involving slurry tanks or grain silos. Another cause for concern is the number of deaths of children during a typical year on a farm, averaging at two, although no deaths of children occurred during 2014-15. Children were the theme for the fifth day of the safety week.
According to Rick Brunt, the head of agriculture for the Health and Safety Executive, deaths on farms in Britain are 20 times higher than the industry average and five times higher than in construction.
The use of PPE (personal protective equipment) and safe practices may help to reduce the number of deaths in farming, along with continued advice and education from industry experts.