Fragile roof is needless killer

2 November 2001

Fragile roof is needless killer

By Tom Allen-Stevens

A FRAGILE roof is agricultures biggest killer, farmers were told at a Farm Safety Awareness day workshop in East Anglia on Thursday (1 November).

Falling from a height has claimed over 100 lives on farms in the last decade, said Frank Sykes local principal inspector for the Health and Safety Executive.

“The most important thing to do is to decide before going on the roof what materials and equipment you need to do the job safely.

“Make sure you have safe access, use proper crawling boards, safety netting and edge protection,” he advised the 300 farmers at the event.

The Awareness day was organised by the National Farmers Union and the Transport and General Workers Union.

Safety issues covered included dealing with machinery blockages, chemicals and sprayers, teleporters and hydraulics, and manual handling and roof working.

There were 54 fatal accidents on farm last year, almost a quarter of which were falling from a height.

Other common mistakes include using a bucket or potato box, rather than a safety cage, to gain high level access with a front-end loader, says the HSE.

Agriculture is officially the most dangerous profession, claiming 12.5% of all workplace deaths, all of which are preventable, says the HSE.

An average of 18.4 self-employed farmers per 100,000 die as a result of a workplace death, over three times the number in the construction industry.


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