Safer, but long way yet – HSE

19 February 1999

Safer, but long way yet – HSE

FARMS are getting safer but there is still a long way to go, says the Health and Safety Executive.

Reporting on its nationwide blitz of inspections, conducted last summer and autumn, the HSE concluded that farmers have a lot to do before the industry can be considered safe.

The inspections involved more than 4000 unannounced visits to farms and forestry operations and followed the 118 farm deaths recorded from 1996-98 and 2292 non-fatal injuries during 1996-97.

Inspectors served enforcement notices in 723 cases, more than half of which were prohibition notices to stop immediately a dangerous practice which had a serious risk of injury.

Most of the problems related to inadequately guarded machinery. Transport, which is the biggest single killer on farms, was the subject of 50 notices.

More than 80 notices related to child protection, with many cases involving poorly protected slurry lagoons and grain pits. With 69 children killed in agriculture in the past 12 years, the HSE says that child safety continues to be a priority.

"We will and do work with the industry to get it right but where there are flagrant breaches of the law, we will use our power to enforce change," warned David Mattey, chief agricultural inspector for the HSE. &#42

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