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Farm fatalities highest of all industry sectors

To mark the start of Farm Safety Week (15 – 19 July), the Health and Safety Executive has released its latest Fatal Injuries in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing for Great Britain 2018/2019 report.

17 July 2019, at 12:44pm
Farm Safety Week 2019 Mud Sweat and Tears © Yellow Wellies

Now in its seventh year, from 15-19 July, Farm Safety Week will bring together five countries over five days with one goal – to inspire farmers to look after their physical and mental wellbeing and reduce the number of life-changing and life-ending accidents on our farms. This year’s Farm Safety Week will concentrate on making a real change, bringing the focus back to farmers, farm workers and those living and working in rural communities to deliver real stories, inspiration and messages directly to them.

“Agriculture is a critical part of our economy.” explains Andrew Turner, Head of Agriculture, Health & Safety Executive. “But every year we have to report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK. This is made even more tragic by the fact that the deaths and injuries are avoidable. The precautions to prevent people being killed and maimed on farms are well known and can be easily applied.”

Throughout this year’s campaign, the Farm Safety Foundation, supported by the Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland, will demonstrate how safety innovations and improved inspection and maintenance can build business resilience, highlighting organisations helping build personal resilience and introduce some incredible farmers that have been influenced by circumstances, stories or personal experiences to make a real change.

Stephanie Berkeley who manages the Farm Safety Foundation said: “Farming, as an industry, is vital to the UK economy – it is the bedrock of our food and drink industry. On a farm, as with any business, the number one resource is the people so why do farmers still give more attention to their livestock, crops and machinery than to themselves and their own wellbeing?”

The facts

  • This year, 39 farmers, farm workers and members of the public lost their lives on farms in Great Britain.
  • Of those killed, 32 were agricultural workers and seven were members of the public, including two children.
  • Farm Safety Week aims to reduce the number of accidents which continue to give farming the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK & Ireland.
  • Farm Safety Week is an initiative led by the Farm Safety Foundation and supported by the Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health & Safety Executive, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health & Safety Authority, Ireland.

For more information on Farm Safety Week visit www.yellowwellies.org or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook using the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek.