The number of fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing is now at its lowest in five years, according to a recent report published by the HSE. Twenty nine deaths were reported in 2015/16, compared with an average of 37 deaths over the five previous years.
The report provides summaries of the fatalities and also outlines how straightforward steps, such as safe stop procedures for tractors and machines, or planning and selecting equipment to carry out work at height, can make a real difference to improving safety.
Lantra, whose work has focused greatly on improving safety within the land-based sector, has welcomed the HSE’s findings. However, with the sector still the most dangerous area to work in, there is still a need for improvement. Marcus Potter, CEO of Lantra, commented: “We are pleased to see that fatalities and injuries have dropped since 2014, but even one death is too many and we must not be complacent.
Quality training is critical in keeping people safe in any workplace. During times of austerity, some organisations may be tempted to cut back on health and safety training to save money, rather than viewing it as a vital investment. Yet work related deaths have colossal consequences for families, businesses and communities. Proper health and safety training can mean the difference between life and death. Good health and safety practice can also reduce sick leave, boost productivity and profits and reduce insurance premiums.
Through a network of training providers and instructors Lantra trains more than 80,000 people annually. We have recently launched a new suite of health and safety and first aid courses for the land-based sector. The courses, which cover key areas such as agriculture, horticulture, working at height, forestry, fencing and construction, are designed to make health and safety as straightforward and easy to follow as possible.
We are also pleased to announce we are once again running a series of free UK-wide events to help combat accidents and fatalities in agriculture. Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs) are run by Lantra on behalf of the HSE and are aimed at farmers and their families. The half day events are designed to highlight common hazards and risks and the practical precautions that can be taken to reduce them. A series of 10 of SHADs are due to take place between September and March and farmers in the relevant geographical regions will be contacted in due course with full details of times and venues.
Full details of the HSE’s report can be found here.
Lantra staff and instructors after the final SHAD event in Devon last year.