Farming one of the most dangerous jobs in UK

Agriculture has been revealed as one of the most dangerous professions in the country after figures revealed more than 450 people were killed in farm-related incidents in the past decade.

Latest data from the Health and Safety Executive revealed 38 people lost their lives in farm accidents between January and November last year, taking the total for the decade to 455.

A further 589 people were seriously injured in farm accidents during the same period in 2009.

The figures mean working in agriculture is one of the most dangerous ways to make a living, accounting for one in five work-related deaths – even though only 1.5% of the population work on farms.

According to the HSE, the majority (27%) of fatalities of 2008/09 were due to moving machinery, while the most common injuries occurred through handling, lifting or carrying objects (26%)

The figures have prompted the HSE to urge farmers to pledge to come home safe as part of its “Make a Promise” campaign.

Judith Donovan, HSE board member and agriculture champion, said about 15,000 farmers had already signed up to the campaign and urged other farmers to make the pledge to avoid needless accidents.

“For those farmers we know have made the promise to come home safe and the many more who may have made the pledge privately, the challenge for them now is to keep it, particularly when they’re battling the weather or working to tight timescales.

“Losing concentration or taking seemingly harmless shortcuts is when horrific accidents can happen.”

“To those farmers yet to make the promise, we encourage them to do it not only for themselves, but for their family and their livelihoods.

Graeme Walker, HSE’s chief inspector for agriculture added: “We see first-hand the terrible grief that families face when someone is killed and it is heartbreaking – particularly when farmers keep dying for the same reasons.

“We offer farmers training, support and guidance on how to keep themselves and their workers safe all of which can help avoid the horrific consequences of accidents, many of which are preventable.”

As part of the campaign, farmers can request “Promise Knots” to place around their homes and farms as a reminder of their pledge to come home safe.