Agriculture Deaths Increasing in Great Britain

A total of 33 deaths occurred in agriculture during 2017/18, four more than the year before. The leading cause was being injured by an animal -- mainly working with and near cattle.

Figures published in the Health and Safety Executive's "Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2017/18" report indicate 33 people were killed as a result of farming and other agriculture-related activities during the year. Being injured by an animal – primarily working with and near cattle – caused the most deaths, eight, while six victims were struck by moving machinery, five by collapsing objects or materials, three in falls from height, and three from contact with electricity, according to the new report.

Agriculture has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main UK industry sectors, around 18 times higher than the All Industry rate. During 2017/2018, nearly half of the agricultural workers killed were older than 65, while the youngest person killed was age 4. Agriculture's fatal injury rate during 2017/18 was 8.44 per 100,000, higher than the annual average of 8.20 during the past five years.

During the most recent five years, the leading causes of death in the UK agriculture sector were moving vehicles (38 deaths), being injured by an animal (29), falls from height (23), being struck by an object (16), collapsing objects or materials (15), contact with machinery (12), asphyxiation or drowning (10), and contact with electricity (8).

More than half (58 percent) the agriculture sector's deaths during 2017/18 were self-employed people; 32 percent were employed and 10 percent were members of the general public.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

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