Try harder to save lives, farmers urged

11 October 2001

Try harder to save lives, farmers urged

By FWi staff

SAFETY officials have urged farmers to do more to prevent accidents after a series of blunders saw 53 people killed in agriculture last year.

Health and Safety Executive chairman Bill Callaghan said: “For many years agriculture has been one of the most dangerous industries in Britain.

“The sharp increase in deaths last year – from 44 to 53 – shows that the industry is simply not doing enough to prevent this tragic loss of life.”

Mr Callaghan said many accidents had familiar causes such as people being struck by a moving vehicle or falling through a fragile roof.

Such accidents were preventable if work was planned, proper training provided and the right equipment was used for the right job.

Mr Callaghan voiced concern about the number of farm workers suffering from conditions such as asthma and musculoskeletal disorders.

An investigation has identified agriculture as a priority under a Revitalising Health and Safety initiative, he added.

“We will be targeting our inspections, producing new guidance and carrying out research into best-practice solutions.”

The Health and Safety Executive is hosting a conference on Thursday (12 October) to look at how work-related ill-health in farming is being tackled.


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