Work related deaths on farms
Around 15,000 farmers have got behind a campaign to promote safety at work after statistics revealed that 38 agricultural workers were killed last year in the UK.
The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Make the Promise campaign, which says people are still dying in needless farm accidents, is backed up by statistics showing that 89 people were seriously injured in farming accidents last year.
According to the HSE, farming - which employees just 1.5% of the working population - accounts for around one in five work-related deaths every year.
Figures for 2008/09 show that 27% of farm workers killed on the job died while working with moving machinery. Of those injured at work, 26% was caused by handling, lifting or carrying.
Judith Donovan, HSE board member and its agriculture champion, said: "For those 15,000 farmers we know have made the promise to come home safe, and the many more who may have made the pledge privately, the challenge for them now is to keep it, particularly when they're battling the weather or working to tight timescales. Losing concentration or taking seemingly harmless shortcuts is when horrific accidents can happen."
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the highlighting of the fact that workers in the agricultural industry are working in the second most hazardous sector. As such they face a serious risk of suffering a work accident.
“My experience is that due to the nature of the work, any accident at work taking place on a farm is likely to result in serious injury and sadly, sometimes death.
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