37 deaths on farms in 2014/5, with cattle and vehicles most common causes

Moving cattle and vehicles are the biggest causes of deaths on British farms, provisional figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed.

Thirty-three workers and four members of the public were killed on Britain’s farms during 2014/15 with around half (16) being struck or run over by farm equipment, or crushed or trampled by cattle.

The figures published earlier this month show falling or moving objects accounted for six people losing their lives and drowning or asphyxiation involving grain silos and slurry tanks resulted in six fatalities.

Although there were no child deaths on farms during 2014/15, in a typical year 1-2 children lose their lives on Britain’s farms and child safety continues to be a concern for the industry.

HSE’s head of agriculture, Rick Brunt, said: “Deaths in farming have remained stubbornly high over the past few years and agriculture continues to have the poorest record of managing risk of any industry in Britain.

“The death rate on Britain’s farms is over five times that of the construction industry and 20 times higher than the all industries average. The industry should recognise that these deaths are avoidable, and should not accept them as an inevitable consequence of farming.    

“HSE applauds the industry for taking the initiative to tackle the causes of fatal and serious injuries.  We will continue to work closely with the Farm Safety Foundation, the Farm Safety Partnerships, and the NI and Ireland regulators to tackle this poor record.”

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