The HSE release the 2021/22 fatal injuries in agriculture report
ATV in field

Published on

July 26 2022

New data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals that agriculture unfortunately continues to hold one of the poorest safety records in the UK and Ireland.

Statistics unveiled in the HSE's 'Fatal Injuries in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing in GB Report 2021/22' show that 25 people lost their lives in the past year, which is 16 fewer than last year and 7 fewer than the five-year average (32).

While the latest on-farm fatal injury figures show an improvement on previous years, agriculture, forestry and fishing still has the worst rate of worker fatal injury (per 100,000) of the main industrial sectors, coming in above the Construction industry and the Waste and Recycling industry. The rate is 21 times higher than the all industry rate

The five most common causes of fatalities over the past five years are reportedly down to:

1) Moving vehicles (8)

2) Being struck by an object (5)

3) Contact with machinery (4)

4) Falls from heights (2)

5) An injury by an animal.

Transport-related incidents, such as overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles were responsible for more deaths than any other cause.

Furthermore, workers aged 65 and older accounted for over a third of all fatal injuries (8 out of 22 worker deaths), while there were fewer deaths in the lower age groups than the higher age groups.

The HSE stated that the main causes of deaths are broadly the same in comparison with the 5-year annual average, with the pattern reportedly not changing significantly over several years.

Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Foundation manager said:

“Despite an encouraging improvement in the HSE figures over the past year, these are very sobering statistics. We must remember that these are not just statistics – behind every fatal notification is a worker, a visitor or a child. We cannot become immune to the impact that each and every death has on farming families and communities across the UK and Ireland."

Sue Thompson, Head of Agriculture, Health & Safety Executive, commented:

“I congratulate the Farm Safety Foundation for the great work they’ve done over the last 10 years to raise the profile of farm incidents and their consequences. However, there are farming families left devastated every year when their loved ones are badly injured or killed while doing their jobs. We are starting to see safety improvements in some areas, but the pace of change is slow, and the rates of workplace injury and ill health in agriculture remain the highest of any major sector."

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