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Accidents on the Farm
We’re backing the campaign to halve the number of farm-related deaths by 2023
Farms can be dangerous places and have a bad safety record. In fact, the agricultural industry has the worst safety record of any other industry in the country. It suffers from a much higher number of fatal injuries, despite only a small proportion of the country’s workforce being employed in farming.
According to the HSE Health and Safety statistics, during the year 2017/18, 33 people were killed as a result of farming and other agriculture-related activities. The biggest cause of death was being injured by an animal or working with or near cattle. Farming has a higher rate of fatal injuries than any of the other main industry sections; around 18 times higher than the rate for all industries. Moreover, nearly half of the agricultural workers killed were over 65 years of age.
Some accidents are unavoidable. But others are caused by someone else’s mistake, negligence or lack of care. In the workplace environment, your employer has a legal responsibility to take all reasonable and practical measures to ensure the health and safety of employees, as well as members of the public who may be using the premises.
There are numerous areas where accidents could happen in the agricultural industry. This year there is a major safety campaign in the industry, ran by the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP). The campaign #DriveSafetyForward focuses on 4 key areas:
1. Accidents involving vehicles
2. Accidents working with livestock
3. Accidents involving children
4. Accidents involving a fall from height
Get involved and make a difference
Farmers, contractors, and farm workers are being encouraged to get involved and highlight this campaign by using #DriveSafetyForward across social media. And to put a range of safety measures into place.
Accidents can often be easily avoided. Here are a few general tips to put into practice:
• Wear suitable footwear with slip-resistant treads or heels.
• Use the right equipment for the task at hand.
• Give proper training to your employees.
• Use the safe stop procedure with vehicles. Hand brake on, controls in neutral, engine off, and keys removed.
• Tidy away tools once they are finished with.
• Clean up spills, including oil, mud, and manure, immediately (regardless of whose responsibility it is).
• Check that equipment is working properly before using it; including machinery, vehicles, ladders, platforms, ropes, chains and harnesses.
• If visitors are on the farm always alert them to hazards and dangers. Put extra safety measures in place wherever possible.
Read the HSE’s comprehensive guide to a safe farm here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/resources/pdf/good-farm.pdf
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position where you have been injured in a farm-based accident that was not your fault you should seek legal advice. The Personal Injury team at WSP Solicitors are experienced in handling agricultural injuries and can provide you with advice to take a claim forward. We can help with recovering lost income, arranging treatment and its funding, arranging to fund any private operations and obtaining an early payment of part of your settlement.
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