Farm deaths jump by 30%

28 July 1997

Farm deaths jump by 30%

THE number of workplace deaths recorded in the agricultural sector has risen from 45 last year to 63 in 1996-97 – a jump of more than 30%.

The Health and Safety Executive is “concerned” by the sudden rise of on-farm accidents and deaths, included in its provisional headline statistics for workplace accidents and injuries, published today.

The statistics – which run from April 1, 1996, to March 31, 1997 – show that the number of people injured on farms has also risen from eight for every 100,000 to 11.1 per 100,000.

HSE director-general Jenny Bacon said: “HSE is very concerned and disappointed at the picture that has emerged.

“Our approach is to improve safety management in the industry and we will be conducting blitzes throughout the country, which will include inspectors looking at safety of children, maintenance work and the dangers arising from moving machinery and transport during harvesting,” Ms Bacon said.

The UKs overall workplace health and safety record has also worsened with the number of deaths rising from 258 in 1995-96 to 302 in 1996-97. This includes deaths of both employees and self-employed people.

This effectively means that the agriculture sector is responsible for more than 20% of the UKs work-related deaths, with only about 3% of the entire population employed in agriculture.

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